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Photochem Photobiol. 2008 Mar-Apr;84(2):330-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-1097.2007.00263.x. Epub 2008 Jan 7.

Effect of caffeine on UVB-induced carcinogenesis, apoptosis, and the elimination of UVB-induced patches of p53 mutant epidermal cells in SKH-1 mice.

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Susan Lehman Cullman Laboratory for Cancer Research, Department of Chemical Biology, Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ, USA.


Oral administration of green tea or caffeine to SKH-1 mice during UVB irradiation for several months inhibited the formation of skin cancer. Similar effects were observed when green tea or caffeine was given to tumor-free UVB-initiated mice with a high risk of developing skin tumors in the absence of further UVB irradiation (high risk mice). Mechanistic studies indicated that topical application of caffeine stimulated UVB-induced apoptosis as well as apoptosis in UVB-induced focal hyperplasia and tumors in tumor-bearing mice. Oral or topical administration of caffeine enhanced the removal of patches of epidermal cells with a mutant form of p53 protein that appeared early during the course of UVB-induced carcinogenesis, and oral administration of caffeine altered the profile of p53 mutations in the patches. In additional studies, topical application of caffeine was shown to have a sunscreen effect, and topical application of caffeine sodium benzoate was more active than caffeine as a sunscreen and for stimulating UVB-induced apoptosis. Caffeine sodium benzoate was also highly active in inhibiting carcinogenesis in UVB-pretreated high risk mice. Our studies indicate that caffeine and caffeine sodium benzoate may be useful as novel inhibitors of sunlight-induced skin cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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