Immunosuppressive doses of solar-simulated UV radiation activate lymph node B cells that can suppress primary immunity by inhibiting the function of dendritic cells. The aim of this study was to determine the waveband responsible for activation of these suppressor B cells. We exposed C57BL/6 mice to various doses of either UVA or UVB radiation and analyzed the number and activation state of lymph node antigen-presenting cells (APC). Immunosuppressive doses of UVB but not UVA activated B cells as assessed by major histocompatibility complex II (MHC II) expression and doubled their numbers in draining lymph nodes. Higher doses of UVA that were not immunosuppressive actually suppressed B cell activation. Our results show that UVA and UVB suppress systemic immunity via different mechanisms. Lymph node B cells are activated in response to immunosuppressive doses of UVB but not UVA. Thus, the activation state of lymph node APC appears to be important for UV immunomodulation.
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Vol. 81 • No. 6