Effects of olive leaf extract and its main component oleuroepin on acute ultraviolet B irradiation-induced skin changes in C57BL/6J mice

Phytother Res. 2010 Jul;24(7):995-1003. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3048.


Olive (Olea europaea L.) leaves have long been used in folk medicine and herbal tea in Europe and the Mediterranean area. The Mediterranean climate is characterized by high temperatures, and by strong ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation causing the skin to age, increasing wrinkling, pigmentation and skin thickness. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of an olive leaf extract and its component oleuropein on skin damage caused by acute UVB irradiation in C57BL/6J mice. The extract (300 or 1000 mg/kg) and oleuropein (25 or 85 mg/kg) were administered orally twice daily for 14 days. UVB was administered daily at a dose of 120 mJ/cm(2) for the first 5 days and then every other day for 9 days. Both treatments inhibited the increases in skin thickness induced by radiation. They also inhibited increases in the Ki-67- and 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine-positive cell numbers, melanin granule area and matrix metalloproteinase-13 (MMP-13) expression. These preventive effects on UVB-induced skin damage might be caused in part by inhibiting the degradation of extracellular matrixes in the corium, and by the proliferation of epidermal cells through the inhibition of increases in MMP-13 levels and reactive oxygen species induced by irradiation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 8-Hydroxy-2'-Deoxyguanosine
  • Animals
  • Deoxyguanosine / analogs & derivatives
  • Deoxyguanosine / metabolism
  • Iridoid Glucosides
  • Iridoids
  • Ki-67 Antigen / metabolism
  • Male
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 13 / metabolism
  • Melanins / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Olea / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Pyrans / pharmacology*
  • Skin / drug effects
  • Skin / radiation effects*
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1 / metabolism
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects*


  • Iridoid Glucosides
  • Iridoids
  • Ki-67 Antigen
  • Melanins
  • Plant Extracts
  • Pyrans
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1
  • oleuropein
  • 8-Hydroxy-2'-Deoxyguanosine
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 13
  • Deoxyguanosine