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Exp Dermatol. 2010 Aug;19(8):742-50. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0625.2010.01091.x.

Antioxidative characteristics and inhibition of alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone-stimulated melanogenesis of vanillin and vanillic acid from Origanum vulgare.

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Department of Cosmetic Science, Chia Nan University of Pharmacy and Science, Tainan, Taiwan.


The antioxidant activities of vanillin and vanillic acid isolated from Origanum vulgare are investigated. These compounds may serve as agents for antimelanogenesis. Vanillic acid is a stronger antioxidant than vanillin, in terms of free radical scavenging activity, reducing power and inhibition of lipid peroxidation. The inhibition of cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) in H(2)O(2)-treated BNLCL2 cells by vanillic acid exceeds that of ascorbic acid (AA) or trolox. In B16F0 cells stimulated with alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH), vanillic acid reduced cellular tyrosinase activity, DOPA oxidase and melanin contents, as well as down-regulated expressions of melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R), microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF), tyrosinase, tyrosinase-related proteins 2 (TRP-2) and TRP-1. Vanillin did not express inhibition of tyrosinase activity. These results supported that vanillic acid is a significantly stronger antioxidant than vanillin and exhibited stronger antimelanogenesis performance because of the structural presence of the carboxyl group.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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