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BMC neuroscience

Suppression of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis by ultraviolet light is not mediated by isomerization of urocanic acid.


PMID 28056806

Abstract

Ultraviolet B irradiation confers strong resistance against experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, a model of multiple sclerosis. This protection by ultraviolet B is independent of vitamin D production but causes isomerization of urocanic acid, a naturally occurring immunosuppressant. To determine whether UCA isomerization from trans to cis is responsible for the protection against experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis afforded by ultraviolet B, trans- or cis-urocanic acid was administered to animals and their disease progression was monitored. Disease incidence was reduced by 74% in animals exposed to ultraviolet B, and skin cis-urocanic acid levels increased greater than 30%. However, increasing skin cis-urocanic acid levels independent of ultraviolet B was unable to alter disease onset or progression. It is unlikely that urocanic acid isomerization is responsible for the ultraviolet B-mediated suppression of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Additional work is needed to investigate alternative mechanisms by which UVB suppresses disease.

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