Ultraviolet is thought to induce skin tumors by its dual activity as a mutagenic agent and a suppressor of cell-mediated immunity. In the present study the effects of quercetin, a flavonoid-containing compound, on carcinogenesis and immunosuppression were studied in SKH hairless mice exposed to suberythemal doses of UV for up to 17 weeks. It was found that quercetin did not affect the onset or growth of non-melanoma skin tumors resulting from UV exposure. In contrast, it prevented the suppression in contact hypersensitivity (CHS) to picryl chloride induced by UV. The mechanism of this prevention might be explained by the observation that the decreased number of epidermal Langerhans' cells is partly prevented by the quercetin. Quercetin did not alter the effects of UV in increasing numbers of spleen and lymph node cells, only partly in decreasing the CD8-positive cells in spleen cell populations and decreasing the lymphoproliferative response of spleen cells to the mitogens concanavalin A and phytohemagglutinin. Thus oral quercetin did not prevent UV-induced carcinogenesis although it restored the skin-associated CHS response probably by protecting the antigen-presenting cells in the skin.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Photochemistry and Photobiology|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 1997|