Regulation of Stimulated Cyclic AMP Synthesis by Urocanic Acid

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Photochemistry and Photobiology








Urocanic acid (UCA) has been shown to mediate the UVB radiation-induced immunosuppression initiated in the skin by UV-induced isomerization from the trans to the cis isomer. However, the mechanism by which cis-UCA acts is still unclear. Therefore, the present study was undertaken to determine the effect of trans- and cis-UCA on cyclic adenosine 3′,5′-monophosphate (cAMP) synthesis in human dermal fibroblasts, Golden Syrian hamster hepatocytes and in the human adenocarcinoma cell line, HT29. Neither trans- nor cis-UCA was able to stimulate cAMP synthesis directly in any of the models tested. In human dermal fibroblasts, cis-UCA, in contrast to trans-UCA, specifically inhibited cAMP synthesis induced by either prostaglandin (PG) E1 or PGE2 with a maximum inhibitory effect of 25-30% at cis-UCA concentrations greater than 1 μM and half-maximum inhibitory effect (EC50) observed at 35 nM. The effect of cis-UCA was not to stimulate phosphodiesterase and cAMP breakdown. The inhibitory effect of cis-UCA (an imidazole derivative) was not mediated through stimulation of the α2-adrenergic receptor. The inhibitory effect of cis-UCA on stimulated cAMP synthesis was a function of the cell density and was only significant when the fibroblasts were confluent or postconfluent. In contrast to the studies with human dermal fibroblasts, an inhibitory effect of cis-UCA was not observed in either isolated hamster hepatocytes or HT29 cells, in which cAMP synthesis was stimulated by glucagon and vasoactive intestinal peptide, respectively. These results point to a possible regulation of cAMP synthesis in fibroblasts as one mechanism by which cis-UCA exerts its biological effect in the skin.

This document is currently not available here.