Comparison of Puerariae Radix and its hydrolysate on stimulation of hyaluronic acid production in NHEK cells

Am J Chin Med. 2010;38(1):143-55. doi: 10.1142/S0192415X10007725.


Hyaluronic acid (HA) is present in high concentrations in the intercellular spaces of the epidermis and the connective tissues of the dermis. It is associated with many beneficial biological activities including water retention, maintenance of various cellular functions, and skin homeostasis. Puerariae Radix (PR), a Chinese herb and a popular food in Asia, is used for various medicinal purposes including anti-hypertension, anti-angina pectoris and anti-dipsotropic. PR is rich in isoflavone glycosides like genistin and daidzin as soya. In this study, Bifidobactericum breve CCRC 14061 and CCRC 11846 were used for the fermentation of PR; moreover, acid was used to hydrolyze PR decoction. Genistein and daidzein in the hydrolysate were determined by HPLC. The HA production in normal human epidermal keratinocytes (NHEK) was measured after 48 hours incubation with PR and its hydrolysate, respectively. HA was assayed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and retinoic acid was used as the positive control. After fermentation with Bifidobactericum breve, the contents of daidzein and genistein were increased 785% and 1,010% by CCRC 14061, and 192% and 406% by CCRC 11846, respectively, whereas after acid hydrolysis, only daidzein was increased by 990%. The production of HA in NHEK was increased after incubation with the fermentation product of CCRC 14061, acid hydrolysate, PR decoction and retinoic acid (22+/- 0.2%), whereas no increase of HA concentration was found after incubation with the fermentation product of CCRC 11846. Furthermore, the PR hydrolysate stimulated the HA production of NHEK, and the effect was dose-dependent (18.6%-83.9%). In conclusion, PR preparations would stimulate HA production in NHEK cells which might be used as a new cosmetic ingredient in moisturizers and an anti-aging agent.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bifidobacterium
  • Cell Line
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / chemistry
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / metabolism
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology*
  • Fermentation
  • Genistein / metabolism
  • Genistein / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronic Acid / biosynthesis*
  • Hydrolysis
  • Isoflavones / metabolism
  • Isoflavones / pharmacology*
  • Keratinocytes / drug effects*
  • Keratinocytes / metabolism
  • Plant Roots
  • Pueraria / chemistry*
  • Tretinoin / pharmacology


  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Isoflavones
  • Tretinoin
  • daidzein
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Genistein