Scientific publications

Effects of low concentrations of cis- and trans-urocanic acid on cytokine elaboration by keratinocytes

Dec 1, 1996 | Magazine: Photodermatology, Photoinmunology & Photomedicine

Redondo P, García-Foncillas J, Cuevillas F, España A, Quintanilla E.


The urocanic acid cis isomer (cis-UCA) is a possible cutaneous photoreceptor for the immunomodulatory phenomena that follow ultraviolet B irradiation. Several experiments in animals show an inhibitory action of cis-UCA on cellular immunity. However, the action of cis-UCA on the synthesis of cytokines in keratinocytes remains unknown.

Long-term cultures of normal human keratiocytes were prepared in a serum-free medium, and stimulated with 1 microgram/ml of phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (TPA) and UCA or UVB-UCA (10-100 micrograms/ml). Synthesis of the following cytokines was measured using ELISA and Northern blot techniques: TNF-alpha, IL-1 alpha, IL-1 beta, IL-6, IL-8 and TGF-beta 1. TPA increased TNF-alpha protein levels in culture supernatants. No changes in Il-1 alpha and IL-1 beta protein levels were detected in basal culture supernatant after TPA stimulus. TPA augmented RNA expression for TNF-alpha, IL-1 alpha, IL-1 beta and TGF-beta 1. UCA isomers did not induce cytokine changes in protein synthesis. Expression of IL-1 alpha and IL-1 beta genes was increased after exposure to 100 micrograms/ml UVB-UCA (70 micrograms/ml cis-UCA). A slight increase in TNF-alpha RNA expression was detected when the dose of UVB-UCA reached 100 micrograms/ml. No effects on cytokine synthesis were found after UCA stimulus.

These results suggest that low doses of cis-UCA do not effect cytokine synthesis by keratinocytes.

CITATION Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 1996 Dec;12(6):237-43