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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Ultraviolet radiation increases the toxicity of pyrene, 1-aminopyrene and 1-hydroxypyrene to human keratinocytes.

Over the past several years, a great deal of interest has been focused on the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation to human skin. UV light has been implicated in aging, sunburn and skin cancer. Few studies, however, have been done to determine the effects that UV light, in conjunction with other environmental contaminants, may have on human skin. Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a class of compounds that have been reported to be toxic, mutagenic and carcinogenic to many eukaryotic organisms. UV light is also known to increase the toxicity of PAHs through photo-activation and photo-modification. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of UV-A irradiated pyrene (Pyr), 1-aminopyrene (1-AP) and 1-hydroxypyrene (1-HP) on human keratinocytes, the skin primary site of UV irradiated PAH exposure. Our findings indicate that simultaneous treatment of human keratinocyte cell line, HaCaT, with 1.0 microg/ml pyrene, 1-AP or 1-HP and 3.9 J/cm2/min UV-A light resulted in significant inhibition of cell proliferation. Approximately 100% of the cells died in the case of UV-A irradiated 1-AP and 1-HP. In the case of UV-A irradiated pyrene, more than 70% of the cells died, indicating that UV-A is able to transform these PAHs into more harmful intermediates.[1]


  1. Ultraviolet radiation increases the toxicity of pyrene, 1-aminopyrene and 1-hydroxypyrene to human keratinocytes. Ekunwe, S.I., Hunter, R.D., Hwang, H.M. International journal of environmental research and public health [electronic resource]. (2005) [Pubmed]
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