Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are known to play important roles in various physiological and pathological processes. Recent studies have shown that some omega-3 (omega-3) PUFAs, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and dodecahexaenoic acid (DHA), have protective effects on acute and chronic UV-induced changes. However, the effects of other omega-3 PUFAs including 11,14,17-eicosatrienoic acid (20:3) (ETA) on UV-induced skin damages are poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the cutaneous photoprotective effects of ETA in hairless mice in vivo. Female HR-1 hairless mice were topically treated with vehicle (ethanol:polyethylene glycol=30:70) only, 0.1% ETA, or 1% ETA once a day for 3 successive days after one time UV irradiation (200 mJ/cm(2)) on dorsal skins. Skin biopsy was carried out on the fourth day (72 hr after UV irradiation). We found that topical treatment with ETA attenuated UV-induced epidermal and dermal thickness and infiltration of inflammatory cells, and impairment of skin barrier function. In addition, ETA suppressed the expression of IL-1beta, COX-2, and MMP-13 induced by UV irradiation. Our results show that the topical application of ETA protects against UV-induced skin damage in hairless mice and suggest that ETA can be a potential agent for preventing and/or treating UV-induced inflammation and photoaging.
Keywords: 11,14,17-eicosatrienoic acid; Fatty Acids, Unsaturated; Photoinflammation; Photoprotection; Skin Aging; Ultraviolet Rays.