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Flavonoids and Photoaged Skin

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DAEJEON, Republic of Korea—Two common flavonoids—apigenin and luteolin, found in herbs such as parsley, celery and chamomile tea—inhibited UVA-induced collagenolytic MMP-1 production by interfering with calcium-dependent mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) and activator protein (AP-1) signaling, potentially making them useful in the prevention and treatment of skin photoaging (J Dermatolo Sci. 2011;63(1):73). UV irradiation causes major changes in skin connective tissues as a result of the degradation of collagen, a major structural component of the extracellular matrix. This process is likely mediated by MMPs. Such changes in collagenous skin tissues have been suggested to be causes of cutaneous aging and skin cancer. Therefore, researchers investigated apigenin’s and luteolin’s protective effect on immortalized human keratinocytes (HaCaT) against UVA damage, and then explored their inhibitory effects on UVA-induced MMP-1 and investigated the molecular mechanism underlying those effects. HaCaT cells were treated with apigenin and luteolin for the indicated times followed by irradiation with UVA.

These two compounds, at concentrations of 1 μM to 5 μM, increased the viability of, and inhibited ROS production in HaCaT cells exposed to UVA irradiation. Pre-treatment of HaCaT cells with apigenin and luteolin also inhibited UVA-induced production of the collagenases MMP-1. They also suppressed UVA-induced expression of c-Jun and c-Fos and the phosphorylation of three MAP kinases, upstream modulators of AP-1. Furthermore, the same two flavonoids decreased the UVA-induced influx of calcium into HaCaT cells and the phosphorylation of calcium/ calcium-modulated protein-dependent kinases.

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