Coenzyme Q(10) enhances dermal elastin expression, inhibits IL-1α production and melanin synthesis in vitro

Int J Cosmet Sci. 2012 Jun;34(3):273-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2494.2012.00713.x. Epub 2012 Mar 24.


Coenzyme Q(10) (CoQ(10) ) is a well-known antioxidant and has been used in many skincare products for anti-ageing purpose. However, the molecular mechanisms of CoQ(10) function in skin cells are not fully understood. In this paper, we compared the effects of CoQ(10) on primary human dermal fibroblasts from three individuals, including adult. We demonstrated that CoQ(10) treatment promoted proliferation of fibroblasts, increased type IV collagen expression and reduced UVR-induced matrix metalloproteinases-1 (MMP-1) level in embryonic and adult cells. In addition, CoQ(10) treatment increased elastin gene expression in cultured fibroblasts and significantly decreased UVR-induced IL-1α production in HaCat cells. Taken together, CoQ(10) presented anti-ageing benefits against intrinsic ageing as well as photo damage. Interestingly, CoQ(10) was able to inhibit tyrosinase activity, resulting in reduced melanin content in B16 cells. Thus, CoQ(10) may have potential depigmentation effects for skincare.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Base Sequence
  • Cells, Cultured
  • DNA Primers
  • Elastin / metabolism*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Interleukin-1alpha / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Interleukin-1alpha / metabolism
  • Melanins / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Melanins / biosynthesis
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Skin / drug effects*
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Ubiquinone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Ubiquinone / pharmacology


  • DNA Primers
  • Interleukin-1alpha
  • Melanins
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Ubiquinone
  • Elastin
  • coenzyme Q10