UVB irradiation can cause considerable changes in the composition of cells in the skin and in cutaneous cytokine levels. We found that a single exposure of normal human skin to UVB induced an infiltration of numerous IL-4(+) cells. This recruitment was detectable in the papillary dermis already 5 h after irradiation, reaching a peak at 24 h and declining gradually thereafter. The IL-4(+) cells appeared in the epidermis at 24 h postradiation and reached a plateau at days 2 and 3. The number of IL-4(+) cells was markedly decreased in both dermis and epidermis at day 4, and at later time points, the IL-4 expression was absent. The IL-4(+) cells did not coexpress CD3 (T cells), tryptase (mast cells), CD56 (NK cells), and CD36 (macrophages). They did coexpress CD15 and CD11b, showed a clear association with elastase, and had a multilobed nucleus, indicating that UVB-induced infiltrating IL-4(+) cells are neutrophils. Blister fluid from irradiated skin, but not from control skin, contained IL-4 protein as well as increased levels of IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-alpha. In contrast to control cultures derived from nonirradiated skin, a predominant type 2 T cell response was detected in T cells present in primary dermal cell cultures derived from UVB-exposed skin. This type 2 shift was abolished when CD15(+) cells (i.e., neutrophils) were depleted from the dermal cell suspension before culturing, suggesting that neutrophils favor type 2 T cell responses in UVB-exposed skin.
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