Topical grape seed proanthocyandin extract reduces sunburn cells and mutant p53 positive epidermal cell formation, and prevents depletion of Langerhans cells in an acute sunburn model

Photomed Laser Surg. 2012 Jan;30(1):20-5. doi: 10.1089/pho.2011.3043. Epub 2011 Nov 21.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate whether grape seed proanthocyanidin extract (GSPE) can provide photoprotection against ultraviolet (UV) irradiation.

Background data: Study has shown that GSPE is a natural oxidant, and is used in many fields such as ischemia-reperfusion injury, chronic pancreatitis, and even cancer. However, the effect of GSPE on UV irradiation is as yet unknown.

Methods: Cutaneous areas on the backs of normal volunteers were untreated or treated with GSPE solutions or vehicles 30 min before exposure to two minimal erythema doses (MED) of solar simulated radiation. Cutaneous areas at different sites were examined histologically for the number of sunburn cells, or immunohistochemically for Langerhans cells and mutant p53 epidermal cells.

Results: On histological and immunohistochemical examination, skin treated with GSPE before UV radiation showed fewer sunburn cells and mutant p53-positive epidermal cells and more Langerhans cells compared with skin treated with 2-MED UV radiation only (p<0.001, p<0.001, and p<0.01, respectively).

Conclusions: GSPE may be a possible preventive agent for photoprotection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antigens, CD1 / analysis
  • Female
  • Grape Seed Extract
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Langerhans Cells / immunology
  • Langerhans Cells / pathology
  • Langerhans Cells / radiation effects
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation / radiation effects*
  • Proanthocyanidins
  • Skin / pathology
  • Skin / radiation effects*
  • Sunburn / pathology
  • Sunburn / prevention & control*
  • Sunscreening Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics*
  • Ultraviolet Rays
  • Vitis*
  • Young Adult


  • Antigens, CD1
  • CD1a antigen
  • Grape Seed Extract
  • Grape Seed Proanthocyanidins
  • Proanthocyanidins
  • Sunscreening Agents
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53