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J Pharm Pharmacol. 2010 Sep;62(9):1137-45. doi: 10.1111/j.2042-7158.2010.01139.x.

Anti-pigmentary activity of fucoxanthin and its influence on skin mRNA expression of melanogenic molecules.

Author information

1
Research & Development Division, Oryza Oil & Fat Chemical Co. Ltd, Ichinomiya, Aichi 493-8001, Japan. kaihatsu@mri.biglobe.ne.jp

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Carotenoids and retinoic acid derivatives are topically applied for sun-protective and whitening purposes. Fucoxanthin is a carotenoid derived from edible sea algae, but its effect on melanogenesis has not been established. Therefore, we examined the effect of fucoxanthin on melanogenesis.

METHODS:

Inhibitory effects on tyrosinase activity, melanin formation in B16 melanoma and skin pigmentation in UVB-irradiated guinea-pigs were evaluated. To elucidate the action of fucoxanthin on melanogenesis, its effect on skin melanogenic mRNA expression was evaluated in UVB-irradiated mice. Fucoxanthin was given topically or orally to mice once a day and UVB irradiation was applied for 14 days. The effect of fucoxanthin on skin melanogenic mRNA expression was evaluated by real time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction.

KEY FINDINGS:

Fucoxanthin inhibited tyrosinase activity, melanogenesis in melanoma and UVB-induced skin pigmentation. Topical application of fucoxanthin (1%) significantly suppressed mRNA expression of cyclooxygenase (COX)-2, endothelin receptor A, p75 neurotrophin receptor (NTR), prostaglandin E receptor 1 (EP1), melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) and tyrosinase-related protein 1. The suppression of p75NTR, EP1 and MC1R expressions was observed at 0.01% application. Also, oral application of fucoxanthin (10 mg/kg) significantly suppressed expression of COX-2, p75NTR, EP1 and MC1R.

CONCLUSIONS:

These results suggest that fucoxanthin exhibits anti-pigmentary activity by topical or oral application in UVB-induced melanogenesis. This effect of fucoxanthin may be due to suppression of prostaglandin (PG) E(2) synthesis and melanogenic stimulant receptors (neurotrophin, PGE(2) and melanocyte stimulating hormone expression).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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