Effects of red ginseng extract on UVB irradiation-induced skin aging in hairless mice

J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Jun 25;123(3):446-51. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2009.03.022. Epub 2009 Mar 26.


Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer, Korean herb medicine, has been widely used in China and Japan for fatigue and enhancement of resistance to many diseases.

Aim of the study: This study is aimed to assess the effects of Korean red ginseng extract on UVB irradiation induced skin aging in hairless mice.

Materials and methods: Red ginseng extracts prepared with ethanol were used in this study. To standardize Korean red ginseng, it was analyzed by HPLC. And inhibitory effects of red ginseng extract on UVB irradiation-induced skin aging in hairless mice were determined by the measurement of wrinkle, expression of type I procollagen and MMP-1 and immunohistology.

Results: Based on the HPLC quantitative analysis, ginsenoside Rb1 content in Korean red ginseng was 43.5mg/g of extract. In the result of body weight gain and food efficiency rate, body weights of all groups were increased during experimental periods. In the wrinkle measurement and image analysis of skin replicas, the results showed that the dietary supply containing red ginseng extract significantly inhibited wrinkle formation caused by chronic UVB irradiation. In the changes of expression of procollagen type I and MMP-1 in the skin of UV irradiated hairless mice fed dietary supplement containing 2.5% red ginseng extract, level of mRNA of procollagen type I was decreased. But protein level of that was increased. And in terms of MMP-1, either mRNA or protein levels of MMP-1 were significantly decreased. These results showed anti-wrinkle effect of Korean red ginseng involved the inhibition of collagen degradation rather than increased collagen synthesis.

Conclusion: It is shown that Korean red ginseng may be functional food candidate for skin photoaging.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Collagen / metabolism
  • Ginsenosides / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 1 / drug effects*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Hairless
  • Panax / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plants, Medicinal / chemistry
  • Procollagen / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Skin / drug effects
  • Skin / pathology
  • Skin / radiation effects
  • Skin Aging / drug effects*
  • Skin Aging / radiation effects
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects*


  • Ginsenosides
  • Plant Extracts
  • Procollagen
  • RNA, Messenger
  • ginsenoside Rb1
  • Collagen
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 1