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Mechanism of Sunburns may Help in Treatment of Other Diseases


Mechanism of Sunburns may Help in Treatment of Other Diseases

(epharmanews) – A new study from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine suggests that the annoying, painful sunburns provide a new key for scientists to treat several diseases.

The researchers found that the sunburns are a result of RNA damage to skin cells, and that damaged cells release damaged RNA so that nearby healthy cells activate an inflammatory process to dispose of the damaged cells.

The findings open the way to perhaps eventually blocking the inflammatory process, the scientists said, and have implications for a range of medical conditions and treatments.

Main investigator Richard L. Gallo, MD, PhD, professor of medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine and Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System said: “For example, diseases like psoriasis are treated by UV light, but a big side effect is that this treatment increases the risk of skin cancer,”

“Our discovery suggests a way to get the beneficial effects of UV therapy without actually exposing our patients to the harmful UV light. Also, some people have excess sensitivity to UV light, patients with lupus, for example. We are exploring if we can help them by blocking the pathway we discovered.”

Although this process seems to be of benefit at some levels, which are the sunburns we get occasionally in the summer. However Gallo says: “The inflammatory response is important to start the process of healing after cell death,”

“We also believe the inflammatory process may clean up cells with genetic damage before they can become cancer. Of course, this process is imperfect and with more UV exposure, there is more chance of cells becoming cancerous,” he added.

Researchers are still unable to identify the effects gender, skin pigmentation and individual genetics may have on the mechanism of sunburn. “Genetics is closely linked to the ability to defend against UV damage and develop skin cancers,” Gallo said. “We know in our mouse genetic models that specific genes will change how the mice get sunburn. Humans have similar genes, but it is not known if people have mutations in these genes that affect their sun response.”


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Prepared by: Laila Nour


Source :

ePharmaNews



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