Influence of skin melanisation and ultraviolet radiation on biomarkers of systemic oxidative stress

Shih, B.B. and Farrar, M.D. and Vail, A. and Allan, D. and Chao, M.-R. and Hu, C.-W. and Jones, G.D.D. and Cooke, M.S. and Rhodes, L.E. (2020) Influence of skin melanisation and ultraviolet radiation on biomarkers of systemic oxidative stress. Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 160. pp. 40-46. ISSN 0891-5849

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Skin melanisation ranges widely across human populations. Melanin has antioxidant properties and also acts as a filter to solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) incident upon the skin. In this study we firstly examined whether melanin level might influence baseline levels of systemic oxidative stress, in 65 humans in vivo from the same geographical area ranging from the lightest to darkest skin type (phototype I-VI). This was examined in winter-time (latitude 53.5°N). Remarkably, we found that urinary biomarkers of oxidatively-generated DNA damage (8-oxodG) and RNA damage (8-oxoGuo) were significantly correlated with skin lightness (L*), such that 14-15% of the variation in their baseline levels could be explained by skin colour. Next we exposed 15 humans at the extremes of skin melanisation to a simulated summer-time exposure of solar UVR (95% UVA, 5% UVB; dose standardised to sunburn threshold), following which they provided a sample of every urine void over the next five days. We found that UVR induced a small but significant increase in urinary 8-oxodG and 8-oxoGuo, with differing kinetics between skin types. Thus greater melanisation is associated with protection against systemic oxidative stress, which may reflect melanin's antioxidant properties, and solar UVR exposure also influences systemic oxidative stress levels in humans. These novel findings may have profound implications for human physiology and health.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Free Radical Biology and Medicine
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? oxidative stressmelaninskinultraviolet radiationnucleic acidsbiomarkersbiochemistryphysiology (medical) ??
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Deposited On:
19 May 2023 14:50
Last Modified:
15 Jul 2024 23:45