Ascorbic acid enhances the expression of type 1 and type 4 collagen and SVCT2 in cultured human skin fibroblasts

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2013 Jan 11;430(2):579-84. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2012.11.110. Epub 2012 Dec 7.


Ascorbic acid (AA) is essential for collagen biosynthesis as a cofactor for prolyl and lysyl hydroxylase and as a stimulus for collagen gene expression. Many studies have evaluated the relationship between AA and collagen expression in short- and long-term effects on cells after a single administration of AA into the culture medium. However, no such study has monitored in detail the stability of AA in medium or the alterations of intracellular AA levels during a protracted interval. Therefore, we examined here intracellular AA levels and stability throughout its exposure to human skin fibroblasts in vitro. Moreover, we determined the effects on type 1 and type 4 collagen and sodium-dependent vitamin C transporter (SVCT) gene expression when medium containing 100 μM AA was replaced every 24h for 5 days to avoid depletion of AA. Throughout this long-term culture, intracellular AA levels remained constant; the expression of type 1 and type 4 collagens and SVCT2 mRNA was enhanced, and type 1 procollagen synthesis increased. Thus, these results indicate that human skin fibroblasts exposed to AA over time had rising levels of type 1/type 4 collagens and SVCT2 mRNA expression and type 1 procollagen synthesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ascorbic Acid / metabolism
  • Ascorbic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Collagen Type I / genetics*
  • Collagen Type IV / genetics*
  • Culture Media / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Gene Expression / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • Skin / cytology
  • Skin / drug effects*
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Sodium-Coupled Vitamin C Transporters / genetics*


  • Collagen Type I
  • Collagen Type IV
  • Culture Media
  • RNA, Messenger
  • SLC23A2 protein, human
  • Sodium-Coupled Vitamin C Transporters
  • Ascorbic Acid