Protective effects of cyanidin-3-O-beta-glucopyranoside against UVA-induced oxidative stress in human keratinocytes

Photochem Photobiol. May-Jun 2005;81(3):623-9. doi: 10.1562/2004-06-14-RA-200.


Ultraviolet-A (UVA) radiation causes significant oxidative stress because it leads to the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), leading to extensive cellular damage and eventual cell death either by apoptosis or necrosis. We evaluated the protective effects of cyanidin-3-O-beta-glucopyranoside (C-3-G) against UVA-induced apoptosis and DNA fragmentation in a human keratinocyte cell line (HaCaT). Treatment of HaCaT cells with C-3-G before UVA irradiation inhibited the formation of apoptotic cells (61%) and DNA fragmentation (54%). We also investigated antioxidant properties of C-3-G in HaCaT cells against ROS formation at apoptotic doses of UVA; C-3-G inhibited hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) release (an indicator of cellular ROS formation) after UVA irradiation. Further confirmation of the potential of C-3-G to counteract UVA-induced ROS formation comes from our demonstration of its ability to enhance the resistance of HaCaT cells to the apoptotic effects of both H2O2 and the superoxide anion (O2*-), two ROS involved in UVA-oxidative stress. Furthermore, in terms of Trolox Equivalent Antioxidant Activity, C-3-G treatment led to a greater increase in antioxidant activity in the membrane-enriched fraction than in the cytosol (55% vs 19%). The protective effects against UVA-induced ROS formation can be attributed to the higher membrane levels of C-3-G incorporation. These encouraging in vitro results support further research into C-3-G (and other anthocyanins) as novel agents for skin photoprotection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anthocyanins / pharmacology*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • DNA Damage
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / metabolism
  • Keratinocytes / drug effects*
  • Keratinocytes / metabolism
  • Necrosis / drug therapy
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology
  • Sunscreening Agents / pharmacology*
  • Superoxides / metabolism
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects*


  • Anthocyanins
  • Antioxidants
  • Sunscreening Agents
  • cyanidin-3-O-beta-glucopyranoside
  • Superoxides
  • Hydrogen Peroxide