Impact of ultraviolet radiation on the expression of marker proteins of gap and adhesion junctions in human epidermis

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We aimed to investigate the impact of ultraviolet B (UVB) as well as UVA1 on the epidermal expression of specific markers of gap and adhesion junctions.


Twelve healthy subjects were enrolled in the study. The back of the subjects was irradiated with three MED-UVB as well as three MED-UVA1. Twenty-four hours later, punch biopsies were taken from irradiated and non-irradiated skin. Immunohistochemical procedures were used for the detection of connexin 43, E-cadherin, involucrin, Ki-67 using specific antibodies.


Staining intensity of connexin 43 in UVB-exposed skin was significantly increased when compared with non-exposed and UVA1-exposed sites. By contrast, staining intensity of E-cadherin in UVB-exposed skin was significantly decreased when compared with non-exposed and UVA1-exposed sites. Involucrin and Ki-67 staining of keratinocytes was significantly increased in UVB-exposed sites as compared with non-exposed and UVA1-irradiated sites.


UVB significantly alters the epidermal expression of gap and adhesion junction proteins possibly indicating a role of these proteins in the regulation of UV-induced inflammation and development and progression of skin cancer.

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