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1 December 2003 Susceptibility to Basal Cell Carcinoma is Associated with High Dermal Mast Cell Prevalence in Non–sun-exposed Skin for an Australian Population
Michele A. Grimbaldeston, Adele Green, Steven Darlington, Bryan O. Robertson, Gillian Marshman, John J. Finlay-Jones, Prue H. Hart
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Abstract

In a Danish population, basal cell carcinoma (BCC) patients have a higher dermal mast cell prevalence in buttock skin than controls. This finding was supported by a functional link in mice between histamine-staining dermal mast cells and the extent of susceptibility to UV-B–induced systemic immunomodulation. It was important to confirm that this association was maintained in an Australian population with very different ancestry and sun exposure patterns. Australian BCC patients (n = 26) had significantly higher densities of mast cells in the dermis of buttock skin than control subjects (n = 25) (P = 0.0003, Mann–Whitney U-test). However, this correlation was lost at the sun-exposed site of the hand (P = 0.547, Mann–Whitney U-test). To further evaluate whether a relationship exists between dermal mast cell prevalence in sun-exposed skin and incidence of BCC in a larger study, biopsies of dorsal hand skin were obtained from an age-stratified random sample of 166 Queensland subjects, together with the 51 South Australian subjects, and dermal mast cell prevalence was quantified. Older subjects (over the median age of 42 years) had a greater incidence of BCC development (P = 0.0001, chi-square test) and significantly higher mast cell densities in hand skin (P = 0.0001, chi-square test) than younger subjects. However, mast cell density in sun-exposed hand skin was not significantly associated with BCC incidence. Finally, cellular expression of c-kit correlated with mast cell prevalence in non–sun-exposed skin, thereby implicating the stem cell factor–c-kit axis in the intrinsic mechanisms that regulate prevalence. These results show that high prevalence of dermal mast cells in buttock skin but not hand is associated with BCC development in an Australian population.

Michele A. Grimbaldeston, Adele Green, Steven Darlington, Bryan O. Robertson, Gillian Marshman, John J. Finlay-Jones, and Prue H. Hart "Susceptibility to Basal Cell Carcinoma is Associated with High Dermal Mast Cell Prevalence in Non–sun-exposed Skin for an Australian Population," Photochemistry and Photobiology 78(6), 633-639, (1 December 2003). https://doi.org/10.1562/0031-8655(2003)078<0633:STBCCI>2.0.CO;2
Received: 28 April 2003; Accepted: 1 September 2003; Published: 1 December 2003
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