The present study investigated whether conditions of 8-methoxypsoralen (8-MOP) concentration and of exposure to high intensity long wavelength ultraviolet radiation (UV-A) during psoriasis and mycosis fungoides therapy might be sufficient to result directly in decreased lymphoid cell DNA synthesis and viability in vitro. Tritiated thymidine (/sup 3/HtdR) incorporation and cell growth following UV-A exposure alone or with 8-MOP was examined in peripheral blood lymphocytes and in Ebstein-Barr virus transformed human lymphoblastoid cell lines. UV-A exposure alone induced a dose-dependent inhibition of /sup 3/HTdR incorporation in both types of lymphoid cells. Pre-incubation with 0.1 ..mu..g/ml 8-MOP before UV-A exposure induced a significantly greater inhibition of /sup 3/HTdr incorporation. Further inhibition of /sup 3/HTdR incorporation was observed by preincubation of the lymphoblastoid cells with 1.0 ..mu..g/ml 8-MOP but not in the lymphocytes. The concentration of viable lymphoblastoid cells did not decrease below the original concentration after the highest dose of UV-A alone (29,00 J/m/sup 2/) but preincubation with 0.1 ..mu..g/ml 8-MOP resulted in 40% and 0.6% survival respectively after 3000 J/m/sup 2/. This study suggested that the low doses of 8-MOP and UV-A received by patients' lymphocytes may be sufficient to explain the decreased DNA synthesis found in their circulating leucocytes. (author).