Ultraviolet (UV) radiation-induced immunosuppression has been implicated in skin carcinogenesis. Grape seed proanthocyanidins (GSPs) have anti-skin carcinogenic effects in mice and GSPs-fed mice exhibit a reduction in UV-induced suppression of allergic contact hypersensitivity (CHS), a prototypic T-cell-mediated response. Here, we report that dietary GSPs did not inhibit UVB-induced suppression of CHS in xeroderma pigmentosum complementation group A (XPA)-deficient mice, which lack nucleotide excision repair mechanisms. GSPs enhanced repair of UVB-induced DNA damage (cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers) in wild-type, but not XPA-deficient, dendritic cells (DC). Co-culture of CD4 + T cells with DCs from UVB-irradiated wild-type mice resulted in suppression of T-cell proliferation and secretion of T-helper (TH) 1-type cytokines that was ameliorated when the DCs were obtained from GSP-fed mice, whereas DCs obtained from GSP-fedXPA-KO mice failed to restore T-cell proliferation. In adoptive transfer experiments, donor DCs were positively selected from the draining lymph nodes of UVB-exposed donor mice that were sensitized to 2,4,-dinitrofluorobenzene were transferred into naïve recipient mice and the CHS response assessed. Naïve recipients that received DCs from UVB-exposed wild-type donors that had been fed GSPs exhibited a full CHS response, whereas no significant CHS was observed in mice that received DCs from XPA-KO mice fed GSPs. These results suggest that GSPs prevent UVB-induced immunosuppression through DNA repair-dependent functional activation of dendritic cells in mice. © 2013 AACR.