Pyrimidine dimer production and excision in epidermal DNA were studied at five different dose levels of ultraviolet light in the skin of intact mice. Dimer production increased with dose up to 50,400 ergs/sq mm. Approximately 30% of the thymine-containing dimers were excised by 24 hr after irradiation at three lower dose levels of ultraviolet light. Nonsemiconservative DNA replication in ultraviolet-irradiated mouse skin was shown to continue for at least 18 hr. The rate of nonsemiconservative replication decreased with time, but did so slowly. The initial rates of nonsemiconservative replication increased with ultraviolet light dose level up to about 4,200 ergs/sq mm, after which the initial rates were decreased. Semiconservative epidermal DNA synthesis was shown to be inhibited by hydroxyurea, but hydroxyurea had no effect on ultraviolet light-induced nonsemiconservative DNA replication. The observed pyrimidine dimer excision and nonsemiconservative DNA replication suggest that in the intact mouse the cells of the epidermis are capable of DNA excision repair after ultraviolet irradiation of mouse skin.


This work was supported in part by Grant BC-14 from the American Cancer Society and Grants CA-07175 and CA-05002 from the National Cancer Institute, USPHS.

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