2011 Volume 5 Issue 6 Pages 239-244
UVA (320-400 nm) and UVB (290-320 nm) are the major components of solar UV irradiation, which is associated with various pathological conditions. UVB causes direct damage to DNA of epidermal cells and is mainly responsible for erythema, immunosuppression, photoaging, and skin cancer. UVA has oxidizing properties that can cause damage or enhance UVB damaging effects on skin. On the other hand, UVA can also lead to high levels of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) expression of cells that can provide an antioxidant effect on skin as well as anti-inflammatory properties in mammals and rodents. Therefore, this review focuses on the potential protection of UVA wavebands for the skin immune response, instead of mechanisms that underlie UVA-induced damage. Also, the role of HO-1 in UVA-mediated protection against UVB-induced immunosuppression in skin will be summarized. Thus, this review facilitates further understanding of potential beneficial mechanisms of UVA irradiation, and using the longer UVA (UVA1, 340-400 nm) in combination with HO-1 for phototherapy and skin protection against sunlight exposure.