UVB Exposure Prevents Atherosclerosis by Regulating Immunoinflammatory Responses
Objective—UVB irradiation is an established treatment for immunoinflammatory cutaneous disorders and has been shown to suppress cutaneous and systemic inflammatory diseases through modulation of the adaptive immune response. However, it remains unknown whether UVB irradiation prevents an immunoinflammatory disease of arteries such as atherosclerosis.
Approach and Results—Here, we show that UVB exposure inhibits the development and progression of atherosclerosis in atherosclerosis-prone mice by expanding and enhancing the functional capacity of CD4+ forkhead box P3+ regulatory T cells and regulating proatherogenic T-cell responses. Experimental studies in Langerhans cell–depleted mice revealed that epidermal Langerhans cells play a critical role in UVB-dependent induction of CD4+ forkhead box P3+ regulatory T cells, suppression of proatherogenic T-cell responses, and prevention of atherosclerotic plaque development.
Conclusions—Our findings suggest the skin immune system as a novel therapeutic target for atherosclerosis and provide a novel strategy for the treatment and prevention of atherosclerosis.
- Received June 28, 2016.
- Accepted October 10, 2016.
- © 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.