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Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2018;31(3):134-143. doi: 10.1159/000487400. Epub 2018 Mar 22.

Punicalagin and (-)-Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate Rescue Cell Viability and Attenuate Inflammatory Responses of Human Epidermal Keratinocytes Exposed to Airborne Particulate Matter PM10.

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Department of Molecular Medicine, Cell and Matrix Research Institute, BK21 Plus KNU Biomedical Convergence Program, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Republic of Korea.
Ruby Crown Co. Ltd., Daegu, Republic of Korea.



Airborne particulate matter with a diameter of < 10 µm (PM10) causes oxidative damage, inflammation, and premature skin aging. In this study, we evaluated whether polyphenolic antioxidants attenuate the inflammatory responses of PM10-exposed keratinocytes.


Primary human epidermal keratinocytes were exposed in vitro to PM10 in the absence or presence of punicalagin and (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which are the major polyphenolic antioxidants found in pomegranate and green tea, respectively. Assays were performed to determine cell viability, production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and expression of NADPH oxidases (NOX), proinflammatory cytokines, and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1.


PM10 decreased cell viability and increased ROS production in a dose-dependent manner. It also increased the expression levels of NOX-1, NOX-2, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-8, and MMP-1. Punicalagin was not cytotoxic up to 300 μM, and (-)-EGCG was cytotoxic above 30 μM, respectively. Further, punicalagin (3-30 μM) and EGCG (3-10 μM) rescued the viability of PM10-exposed cells. They also attenuated ROS production and the expression of NOX-1, NOX-2, TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, and MMP-1 stimulated by PM10.


This study demonstrates that polyphenolic antioxidants, such as punicalagin and (-)-EGCG, rescue keratinocyte viability and attenuate the inflammatory responses of these cells due to airborne particles.


(–)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate; Keratinocytes; Matrix metalloproteinase-1; Particulate matter; Proinflammatory cytokine; Punicalagin

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