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Role of Ultraviolet Radiation in Papillomavirus-Induced Disease.


Human papillomaviruses are causally associated with 5% of human cancers. The recent discovery of a papillomavirus (MmuPV1) that infects laboratory mice provides unique opportunities to study the life cycle and pathogenesis of papillomaviruses in the context of a genetically manipulatable host organism. To date, MmuPV1-induced disease has been found largely to be restricted to severely immunodeficient strains of mice. In this study, we report that ultraviolet radiation (UVR), specifically UVB spectra, causes wild-type strains of mice to become highly susceptible to MmuPV1-induced disease. MmuPV1-infected mice treated with UVB develop warts that progress to squamous cell carcinoma. Our studies further indicate that UVB induces systemic immunosuppression in mice that correlates with susceptibility to MmuPV1-associated disease. These findings provide new insight into how MmuPV1 can be used to study the life cycle of papillomaviruses and their role in carcinogenesis, the role of host immunity in controlling papillomavirus-associated pathogenesis, and a basis for understanding in part the role of UVR in promoting HPV infection in humans.