Background: Subclinical, chronic tissue inflammation involving the generation of cytokines (e.g., interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha) might contribute to the cutaneous aging process.
Aims: This study aims to screen for an active ingredient with anti-inflammatory (i.e., reduction of interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha) and matrix-stimulating efficacy which improves the clinical signs of skin aging in vivo.
Patients/methods: In vitro studies with pure Arctiin were performed investigating the inhibition of cytokine induction and stimulation of collagen neo-synthesis. In vivo home-in-use studies using an Arctium lappa fruit extract-containing formulation were carried out to determine procollagen and hyaluronan synthesis, hyaluronan synthase-2 gene expression, and reduction of wrinkle volume after treatment.
Results: In vitro studies on human dermal fibroblasts and monocyte-derived dendritic cells supplemented with pure Arctiin showed relative to untreated control cells a stimulation of collagen synthesis and a decrease in interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha concentration, respectively. In addition, topical in vivo application of an A. lappa fruit extract-containing formulation for 12 weeks significantly stimulated procollagen synthesis and increased hyaluronan synthase-2 expression as well as hyaluronan levels compared to vehicle-treated control areas. Similarly, after a 4-week treatment with an A. lappa fruit extract-containing formulation, wrinkle volume in the crow's feet area was significantly reduced as compared to treatment with the vehicle.
Conclusions: Our data show that topical treatment with a natural A. lappa fruit extract significantly improves the metabolism of the dermal extracellular matrix and leads to a visible wrinkle reduction in vivo. In conclusion, A. lappa fruit extract represents a targeted means to regenerate dermal structures and, thus, offers an effective treatment option for mature skin.