Ultraviolet B (UV-B) radiation is a modality widely used for the treatment of different skin diseases. One of the major mechanisms of UV-B immunosuppression in this treatment modality is thought to be an apoptosis-inducing effect on T cells infiltrating the skin. We examined the T-cell apoptosis-induction capacities of four different UV light sources, with and without UV filters. The xenon chloride (XeCl) laser proved to be the strongest apoptosis inducer. The use of a phtalic acid filter eliminated UV radiation almost completely below 300 nm, which resulted in a severe decrease in the apoptosis-inducing capacity of different UV-B sources. Using the results of the measurements with polychromatic UV light sources, the wavelength dependence of UV-B light for the induction of T-cell apoptosis was also determined. The regression line of the action spectrum demonstrated a continuous decrease from 290 to 311 nm. The apoptosis-inducing capacity of the XeCl laser was almost four times higher than the calculated value according to the action spectrum, which might be attributed to the high irradiance of the laser as compared with nonlaser light sources.
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Vol. 79 • No. 5