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Arch Dermatol Res. 2017 May;309(4):285-303. doi: 10.1007/s00403-017-1729-0. Epub 2017 Mar 11.

Comparison of protective effect of ascorbic acid on redox and endocannabinoid systems interactions in in vitro cultured human skin fibroblasts exposed to UV radiation and hydrogen peroxide.

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Department of Analytical Chemistry, Medical University of Bialystok, Mickiewicza 2D, 15-222, Bialystok, Poland.
Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Medical University of Bialystok, Bialystok, Poland.
Department of Analytical Chemistry, Medical University of Bialystok, Mickiewicza 2D, 15-222, Bialystok, Poland.


The mechanisms of biological activity of commonly used natural compounds are constantly examined. Therefore, the aim of this study was to compare ascorbic acid efficacy in counteracting the consequences of UV and hydrogen peroxide treatment on lipid mediators and their regulative action on antioxidant abilities. Skin fibroblasts exposed to UVA and UVB irradiation, treated with hydrogen peroxide and ascorbic acid. The redox system was estimated through reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation (electron spin resonance spectrometer) and antioxidants level/activity (HPLC/spectrometry) which activity was evaluated by the level of phospholipid metabolites: 4-hydroxynonenal, malondialdehyde, 8-isoprostanes and endocannabinoids (GC/LC-MS) in the human skin fibroblasts. Protein and DNA oxidative modifications were also determined (LC). The expression of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), its activators and inhibitors as well as pro/anti-apoptotic proteins and endocannabinoid receptors was examined (Western blot) and collagen metabolism was evaluated by collagen biosynthesis and prolidase activity (spectrometry). UVA and UVB irradiation and hydrogen peroxide treatment enhanced activity of xanthine and NADPH oxidases resulting in ROS generation as well as diminution of antioxidant phospholipid protection (glutathione peroxidase-glutathione-vitamin E), what led to increased lipid peroxidation and decreased endocannabinoids level. Dysregulation of cannabinoid receptors expression and environment of transcription factor Nrf2 caused apoptosis induction. Ascorbic acid partially prevented ROS generation, antioxidant capacity diminution and endocannabinoid systems disturbances but only slightly protected macromolecules such as phospholipid, protein and DNA against oxidative modifications. However, ascorbic acid significantly prevented decrease in collagen type I biosynthesis. Ascorbic acid in similar degree prevents UV (UVA and UVB) and hydrogen peroxide-dependent redox imbalance. However, this antioxidant cannot efficiently protect cellular macromolecules and avert metabolic dysregulation leading to apoptosis.


Ascorbic acid; Endocannabinoid system; Fibroblasts; Hydrogen peroxide; Nrf2; UV radiation

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