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PLoS One. 2017 Jan 23;12(1):e0170438. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0170438. eCollection 2017.

Acerola (Malpighia emarginata DC.) Juice Intake Suppresses UVB-Induced Skin Pigmentation in SMP30/GNL Knockout Hairless Mice.

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Molecular Regulation of Aging, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology, Tokyo, Japan.
Corporate Science Research Division, Nichirei Corporation, Chiba, Japan.
Research and Development Division, Nichirei Foods Corporation, Chiba, Japan.
Research and Development Division, Research and Development Center, Nichirei Bioscience Corporation, Tokyo, Japan.
Corporate Sponsored Research Program 'Food for Life', The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.



Acerola (Malpighia emarginata DC.) is a fruit that is known to contain high amounts of ascorbic acid (AA) and various phytochemicals. We have previously reported that AA deficiency leads to ultraviolet B (UVB)-induced skin pigmentation in senescence marker protein 30 (SMP30)/gluconolactonase (GNL) knockout (KO) hairless mice. The present study was undertaken to investigate the effects of acerola juice (AJ) intake on the skin of UVB-irradiated SMP30/GNL KO mice.


Five-week old hairless mice were given drinking water containing physiologically sufficient AA (1.5 g/L) [AA (+)], no AA [AA (-)] or 1.67% acerola juice [AJ]. All mice were exposed to UVB irradiation for 6 weeks. UVB irradiation was performed three times per week. The dorsal skin color and stratum corneum water content were measured every weekly, and finally, the AA contents of the skin was determined. The skin AA and stratum corneum water content was similar between the AA (+) and AJ groups. The L* value of the AA (+) group was significantly decreased by UVB irradiation, whereas AJ intake suppressed the decrease in the L* value throughout the experiment. Moreover, in the AJ group, there was a significant decrease in the expression level of dopachrome tautomerase, an enzyme that is involved in melanin biosynthesis.


These results indicate that AJ intake is effective in suppressing UVB-induced skin pigmentation by inhibiting melanogenesis-related genes.

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Conflict of interest statement

I have read the journal's policy and the authors of this manuscript have the following competing interests: EU and TK are current employees of Nichirei Corporation. HA and TH are current employees of Nichirei Foods Corporation. KN is current employee of Nichirei Bioscience Corporation. However, these founders did not have any additional role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Other authors have declared that no competing interests exist. This does not alter our adherence to PLOS ONE policies on sharing data and materials.

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