Protective effect of astragaloside IV against matrix metalloproteinase-1 expression in ultraviolet-irradiated human dermal fibroblasts

Arch Pharm Res. 2011 Sep;34(9):1553-60. doi: 10.1007/s12272-011-0918-1. Epub 2011 Oct 6.


Ultraviolet (UV) irradiation induces skin photoaging associated with up-regulated matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) expression. Inhibition of MMP expression is suggested to alleviate photoaging induced by UV irradiation. Astragaloside IV (As-IV), one of the main active ingredients of Astragalus membranaceus (Fisch) Bge, has been reported to have various biological activities. However, its anti-photoaging effect has not been examined to date. In the present study, we observed the effect of As-IV on matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) expression in UV-irradiated human dermal fibroblasts (HDFs). We found that treatment with As-IV significantly decreased UV-induced MMP-1 expression at the messenger RNA and protein levels. In addition, western blotting analysis revealed that As-IV concentration-dependently suppressed UV-induced phosphorylation of extracellular-regulated protein kinase, Jun-N-terminal kinase and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK). Furthermore, treatment with As-IV markedly inhibited UV-induced nuclear factor kappaB (NF-κB) activity. These results suggest that As-IV down-regulates UV-induced MMP-1 expression, perhaps through suppression of MAPK and NF-κB activation in HDFs. As-IV is thus a potential agent for the management of skin photoaging.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / radiation effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / chemistry
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects*
  • Fibroblasts / enzymology
  • Fibroblasts / radiation effects*
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Humans
  • Luciferases / genetics
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 1 / biosynthesis
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 1 / genetics
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors*
  • Molecular Structure
  • NF-kappa B / genetics
  • Radiation-Protective Agents / chemistry
  • Radiation-Protective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Saponins / chemistry
  • Saponins / pharmacology*
  • Transfection
  • Triterpenes / chemistry
  • Triterpenes / pharmacology*
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects*


  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors
  • NF-kappa B
  • Radiation-Protective Agents
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Saponins
  • Triterpenes
  • astragaloside A
  • Luciferases
  • MMP1 protein, human
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 1