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J Pharm Pharm Sci. 2010;13(2):274-85.

Evaluation of protective effect of a water-in-oil microemulsion incorporating quercetin against UVB-induced damage in hairless mice skin.

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Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirà poundo Preto - Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil.



In the present study, histological aspects were considered in order to evaluate the in vivo photoprotective effect of a w/o microemulsion containing quercetin against UVB irradiation-induced dermal damages. The toxicity in cell culture and the potential skin irritation resulting from topical application of this formulation were also investigated.


Mouse dorsal surfaces were treated topically with 300 mg of the unloaded and quercetin-loaded (0.3%, w/w) microemulsions before and after exposure to UVB (2.87 J/cm2) irradiation. The untreated control groups irradiated and non-irradiated were also evaluated. UVB-induced histopathological changes as well as the photoprotective effect of this formulation were evaluated considering the parameters of infiltration of inflammatory cells, epidermis thickening (basale and spinosum layers) and collagen and elastic fiber contents. The cytotoxicity of the reported formulation was evaluated in L929 mice fibroblasts by MTT assay and the skin irritation was investigated after topical application of both unloaded and quercetin-loaded microemulsions once a day for 15 days.


The results demonstrated that the w/o microemulsion containing quercetin reduced the incidence of histological skin alterations, mainly the connective-tissue damage, induced by exposure to UVB irradiation, this allows the suggestion that protective effects of this formulation against UV-induced responses are not secondary to the interference of UV transmission (i.e., blocking the UVB radiation from being absorbed by the skin), as is usually done with UVB absorbers and sunscreens, but is instead due to different biological effects of this flavonoid. Furthermore, by evaluating the cytotoxic effect on L929 cells and histological aspects such as infiltration of inflammatory cells and epidermis thickness of hairless mice, the present study also demonstrated no toxicity of the proposed system.


Therefore, based on these mouse models, a detailed characterization of the w/o microemulsion incorporating quercetin effects as a photochemoprotective agent on human skin is thus indicated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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