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J Invest Dermatol. 1997 May;108(5):727-30.

Photoprotective effect of esterified glutathione against ultraviolet B-induced sunburn cell formation in the hairless mice.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, Hirosaki University School of Medicine, Japan.


Previously we showed a protective role of endogenous glutathione (GSH) in ultraviolet B (UVB) injury. Moderate UVB exposure to hairless mice receiving oral treatment with buthionine sulfoximine (BSO), an inhibitor of GSH synthesis, resulted in a greater number of SBCs in the epidermis. The evidence led to the hypothesis that increasing the level of endogenous GSH in the skin may reduce the skin damage caused by a high dose of UVB irradiation. Since systemic administration of a reduced form of GSH (reduced GSH) is understood to have poor permeability into the cells, in the current study we investigated transportability of esterified GSH and photoprotective effect of reduced GSH and the esterified derivative against UVB injury in vivo. Oral administration of esterified GSH revealed increased cutaneous GSH level more effectively than did reduced GSH. The number of sunburn cells (SBC) formed was significantly depressed in the skin exposed to UVB in mice treated with esterified GSH as compared with non-GSH- or reduced GSH-treated mice. The suppressive effect of esterified GSH was prominent in BSO-treated animals.

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