Effect of simulated sunlight on Langerhans´ cells in malignant melanoma patients
Powles AV, Murphy GM, Rutman AJ, Haffenden G, Rosin RD, Hawk JL, Fry L.
The effect of artificial sunlight on the number and HLA class II expression of Langerhans´ cells was studied in 10 patients with malignant melanoma and 10 control volunteers. The total number of Langerhans´ cell decreased in both groups but at 96 h there was a greater and significant decrease (p less than 0.01) in the number of Langerhans´ cells in the melanoma group, compared with controls. This decrease persisted and was still greater in the melanoma group (p less than 0.02) at one week post-irradiation. There was a rise in Langerhans´ cell count over the following 3 weeks in both groups. Unexpectedly, during this period in the melanoma group-but not controls-there was a significant median peak rise above pre-irradiation levels (p less than 0.001). Alteration in the response of Langerhans´ cells to sunlight may play a part in the aetiology of malignant melanoma.