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J Med Food. 2014 Nov;17(11):1189-96. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2013.3088. Epub 2014 Aug 19.

Lithospermum erythrorhizon extract protects keratinocytes and fibroblasts against oxidative stress.

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1 Department of Food Science and Biotechnology, Kyung Hee University , Yongin, Gyeonggi, Korea.


Oxidative stress damages dermal and epidermal cells and degrades extracellular matrix proteins, such as collagen, ultimately leading to skin aging. The present study evaluated the potential protective effect of the aqueous methanolic extract obtained from Lithospermum erythrorhizon (LE) against oxidative stress, induced by H2O2 and ultraviolet (UV) irradiation, on human keratinocyte (HaCaT) and human dermal fibroblast-neonatal (HDF-n) cells. Exposure of cells to H2O2 or UVB irradiation markedly increased oxidative stress and reduced cell viability. However, pretreatment of cells with the LE extract not only increased cell viability (up to 84.5%), but also significantly decreased oxidative stress. Further, the LE extract downregulated the expression of matrix metalloproteinase-1, an endopeptidase that degrades extracellular matrix collagen. In contrast, treatment with the LE extract did not affect the expression of procollagen type 1 in HDF-n cells exposed to UVA irradiation. Thirteen phenolic compounds, including derivatives of shikonin and caffeic acid, were identified by ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry. These results suggest that LE-derived extracts may protect oxidative-stress-induced skin aging by inhibiting degradation of skin collagen, and that this protection may derive at least in part from the antioxidant phenolics present in these extracts. Further studies are warranted to determine the potential utility of LE-derived extracts in both therapeutic and cosmetic applications.


caffeic acid derivative; matrix metalloproteinase-1; shikonin derivative; skin; ultraviolet irradiation; vitamin C equivalent antioxidant capacity

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