UVC irradiation devices for phototherapy of autoimmune diseases

(1) It was discovered that UVC irradiation to the skin can induce regulatory T cells with immunosuppressive functions. (2) We would like to develop a new phototherapy device for psoriasis, alopecia areata and other autoimmune diseases. (3) We are looking forward to joint development with companies that have equipment and technology capable of stable UVC irradiation.

Specifications required for device.

  • Wavelength: 260-280 nm
  • Irradiation intensity: ~1 J/cm2
  • Wavelength intensity: 10-100 mW/cm2


Prof. Akimichi Morita (Department of Geriatric and Environmental Dermatology, Nagoya City University)

Background and Technology

It is known empirically that UV radiation has immunosuppressive effects, and phototherapy has been developed to treat atopy and psoriasis by UV irradiation. The effects of UV irradiation on immune mechanisms suggest that photosensitizers and UVA irradiation induce apoptosis in pathogenic cells and that UVB (300-310 nm) contributes to wound healing in the skin (see above). Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are known as T cells that suppress immune responses and play a central role in the suppression of autoimmunity and inflammation. In the skin, Tregs maintain immune homeostasis through their function, and it is thought that Tregs are dysfunctional in autoimmune conditions such as psoriasis. The inventors therefore considered that if functional Tregs could be induced by irradiation with specific wavelengths of UV, a more effective phototherapy could be developed for autoimmunity in which the immunosuppressive function has failed. They found that direct irradiation of the skin with UV in the 260-280 nm UVC region induced immunosuppressive functional Tregs more potently than conventional phototherapy.


  • Irradiation of mouse skin with UV light at 260 nm using a xenon lamp and diffraction grating strongly induced CD4+CD25+Foxp3+Treg cells compared to irradiation with other UV wavelengths, confirming their immunosuppressive function.


We wish to develop a UV irradiation device in collaboration with a company that has a light source and technology that enables stable, narrow wavelength (260-280 nm) irradiation. We would like to carry out animal tests at universities using the developed equipment, and then further tests on humans.


Project No.WL-04405


Other than Medicine


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