The effects of two different doses of ultraviolet-A light exposure on nitric oxide metabolites and cardiorespiratory outcomes

Chris Monaghan, Luke C. McIlvenna, Luke Liddle, Mia Burleigh, Richard B. Weller, Bernadette O. Fernandez, Martin Feelisch, David J. Muggeridge, Chris Easton

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PURPOSE: The present study investigated different doses of ultraviolet-A (UV-A) light on plasma nitric oxide metabolites and cardiorespiratory variables.

METHODS: Ten healthy male participants completed three experimental conditions, 7 days apart. Participants were exposed to no light (CON); 10 J cm2(15 min) of UV-A light (UVA10) and 20 J cm2(30 min) of UV-A light (UVA20) in a randomized order. Plasma nitrite [NO2-] and nitrate [NO3-] concentrations, blood pressure (BP), and heart rate (HR) were recorded before, immediately after exposure and 30 min post-exposure. Whole body oxygen utilization ([Formula: see text]), resting metabolic rate (RMR) and skin temperature were recorded continuously.

RESULTS: None of the measured parameters changed significantly during CON (all P > 0.05). [Formula: see text] and RMR were significantly reduced immediately after UVA10 (P < 0.05) despite no change in plasma [NO2-] (P > 0.05). Immediately after exposure to UVA20, plasma [NO2-] was higher (P = 0.014) and [Formula: see text] and RMR tended to be lower compared to baseline (P = 0.06). There were no differences in [NO2-] or [Formula: see text] at the 30 min time point in any condition. UV-A exposure did not alter systolic BP, diastolic BP or MAP (all P > 0.05). UV-A light did not alter plasma [NO3-] at any time point (all P > 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that a UV-A dose of 20 J cm2is necessary to increase plasma [NO2-] although a smaller dose is capable of reducing [Formula: see text] and RMR at rest. Exposure to UV-A did not significantly reduce BP in this cohort of healthy adults. These data suggest that exposure to sunlight has a meaningful acute impact on metabolic function.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Early online date7 Mar 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Mar 2018


  • sunlight
  • nitrate
  • nitrite
  • blood pressure
  • metabolic rate


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