Usha P. Andley, Jennifer G. Weber1

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Abstract— The action spectrum for cell killing by UV radiation in human lens epithelial (HLE) cells is not known. Here we report the action spectrum in the 297–365 nm region in cultured HLE cells with an extended lifespan (HLE B‐3 cells) and define their usefulness as a model system for photobiological studies. Cells were irradiated with monochromatic radiation at 297, 302, 313, 325, 334 and 365 nm. Cell survival was determined using a clonogenic assay. Analysis of survival curves showed that radiation at 297 nm was six times more effective in cell killing than 302 nm radiation; 297 nm radiation was more than 260, 590, 1400 and 3000 times as effective in cell killing as 313, 325, 334 and 365 nm radiation, respectively. The action spectrum was similar in shape to that for other human epithelial cell lines and rabbit lens epithelial cells. The effect of UV radiation on crystallin synthesis was also determined at different wavelengths. To determine whether exposure to UV radiation affects the synthesis of β‐crystallin, cells were exposed to sublethal fluences of UV radiation at 302 and 313 nm, labeled with [35S]methionine and the newly synthesized βY‐crystallin was analyzed by immunoprecipitation and western blotting using an antibody to β‐crystallin. The results show a decrease in crystallin synthesis in HLE cells irradiated at 302 and 313 nm at fluences causing low cytotoxicity. The effect of radiation on membrane perturbation was determined by measuring enhancement of synthesis of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2). Synthesis of PGE2 occurs at all UV wavelengths tested in the 297–365 nm region. The slope of the PGE2 response curves was higher than that of cell killing curves in cultured HLE cells. These data show that cultured HLE cells with extended lifespan are a suitable system for investigating photobiological responses of cells to UV radiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)840-846
Number of pages7
JournalPhotochemistry and Photobiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1995


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