A single dose of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) induces significant changes in blood and skin of hairless mice. Oral administration of a hydrophilic extract of the fern Polypodium leucotomos (PL, 300 mg/kg during 5 days before UVR and for two additional days after irradiation) modulates some of the effects of UVR. Most significantly, PL administration reduced the number of proliferating cells by 13%, increased the number of p53(+) cells by 63%, enhanced the antioxidant plasma capacity (ORAC) by 30% and reinforced the network of dermal elastic fibres. Western blot analysis of skin antioxidant-related enzymes failed to demonstrate significant changes caused by PL. Thus, the beneficial effect of PL likely owes to its antioxidant and anti-ROS properties rather than its modulation of the expression of endogenous antioxidant systems. These data provide mechanistic clues for its efficacy as a systemic photoprotective agent with antioxidant and anti-photo-ageing properties.
© 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.