Background: Ultraviolet (UV) radiation damages skin through a variety of mechanisms, including the generation of free radicals. Gluconolactone is a polyhydroxy acid (PHA) that is capable of chelating metals and may also function by scavenging free radicals, thereby protecting skin from some of the damaging effects of UV radiation.
Objective: This study measured the ability of gluconolactone to protect against UV radiation-induced damage.
Methods: The ability of gluconolactone to prevent UV radiation-induced elastin promoter activation was determined in vitro using a transgenic model of cutaneous photoaging. Gluconolactone was also evaluated to determine its ability to promote the formation of sunburn cells in human skin after exposure to UV radiation.
Results: Gluconolactone provided up to 50% protection against UV radiation, as measured in our in vitro system, and did not significantly increase sunburn cells in human skin.
Conclusions: These results demonstrate the ability of the PHA gluconolactone to protect against UV radiation-induced elastin promoter activation. In addition, in vivo studies demonstrated that gluconolactone treatment does not result in a significant increase in sunburn cells. Further investigation of this and other PHAs is necessary to identify their potential role in preventing and repairing cutaneous photodamage.