Nonmelanoma skin cancer is the most common cancer among humans and solar UV radiation, particularly its UVB component (290-320 nm), is its major cause. One way to reduce the occurrence of the cancer is via the use of substances (often antioxidants) termed "photochemopreventive agents". Resveratrol (trans-3,4',5-trihydroxystilbene), a phytoalexin found in grapes, nuts, fruits, and red wine, is a potent antioxidant with strong anti-inflammatory and antiproliferative properties. This study was designed to examine whether resveratrol possesses the potential to ameliorate the damages caused by short-term UVB exposure to mouse skin. Single topical application of resveratrol (25 micromol/0.2 ml acetone per mouse) to SKH-1 hairless mice was found to result in significant inhibition of UVB (180 mJ/cm(2))-mediated increase in bifold skin thickness and skin edema. The resveratrol treatment to mouse skin was also found to result in significant inhibition of UVB-mediated induction of cyclooxygenase and ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) enzyme activities and protein expression of ODC, which are well-established markers for tumor promotion. We also observed that resveratrol inhibits UVB-mediated increased level of lipid peroxidation, a marker of oxidative stress. Taken together, our results suggest that resveratrol may afford substantial protection against the damages caused by UVB exposure, and these protective effects may be mediated via its antioxidant properties.
Copyright 2003 Elsevier Science (USA)