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BMC Complement Altern Med. 2013 Dec 10;13:348. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-13-348.

Norartocarpetin from a folk medicine Artocarpus communis plays a melanogenesis inhibitor without cytotoxicity in B16F10 cell and skin irritation in mice.

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Department of Fragrance and Cosmetic Science, College of Pharmacy, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.



Many natural products used in preventive medicine have also been developed as cosmeceutical ingredients in skin care products, such as Scutellaria baicalensis and Gardenia jasminoides. Norartocarpetin is one of the antioxidant and antityrosinase activity compound in Artocarpus communis; however, the cytotoxicity, skin irritation and antimelanogenesis mechanisms of norartocarpetin have not been investigated yet.


In the present study, cell viability in vitro and skin irritation in vivo are used to determine the safety of norartocarpetin. The melanogenesis inhibition of norartocarpetin was determined by cellular melanin content and tyrosinase in B16F10 melanoma cell. Moreover, we examined the related-melanogenesis protein by western blot analysis for elucidating the antimelanogenesis mechanism of norartocarpin.


The result of the present study demonstrated that norartocarpetin not only present non-cytotoxic in B16F10 and human fibroblast cells but also non-skin irritation in mice. Moreover, our result also first found that norartocarpetin downregulated phospho-cAMP response element-binding (phospho-CREB) and microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) expression, which in turn decreased both synthesis of tyrosinases (TRP-1 and TRP-2) and cellular melanin content. This process is dependent on norartocarpetin phosphorylation by mitogen-activated protein kinases such as phospho-JNK and phospho-p38, and it results in decreased melanogenesis.


The present study suggests that norartocarpetin could be used as a whitening agent in medicine and/or cosmetic industry and need further clinical study.

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