A comparative study of baby immature and adult shoots of Aloe vera on UVB-induced skin photoaging in vitro

Phytother Res. 2013 Dec;27(12):1874-82. doi: 10.1002/ptr.4943. Epub 2013 Mar 15.


Ultraviolet (UV) irradiation induces photo-damage of the skin, which in turn causes depletion of the dermal extracellular matrix and chronic alterations in skin structure. Skin wrinkle formations are associated with collagen synthesis and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) expression. The production of type I procollagen is regulated by transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) expression; the activation of MMP is also correlated with an increase of interleukin-6 (IL-6). Aloe barbadensis M. (Aloe vera) is widely used in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. In this study, we examined whether baby aloe shoot extract (BAE, immature aloe extract), which is from the one-month-old shoots of Aloe vera, and adult aloe shoot extract (AE), which is from the four-month-old shoots of Aloe vera, have a protective effect on UVB-induced skin photoaging in normal human dermal fibroblasts (NHDFs). The effects of BAE and AE on UVB-induced photoaging were tested by measuring the levels of reactive oxygen species, MMP-1, MMP-3, IL-6, type I procollagen, and TGF-β1 after UVB irradiation. We found that NHDF cells treated with BAE after UVB-irradiation suppressed MMP-1, MMP-3, and IL-6 levels compared to the AE-treated cells. Furthermore, BAE treatment elevated type I procollagen and TGF-β1 levels. Our results suggest that BAE may potentially protect the skin from UVB-induced damage more than AE.

Keywords: IL-6; MMPs; aloesin; baby aloe (immature aloe); photoaging; procollagen type I.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aloe / chemistry
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Collagen Type I / metabolism
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects*
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Fibroblasts / radiation effects*
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Male
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 1 / metabolism
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 3 / metabolism
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Shoots / chemistry
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Skin / cytology
  • Skin Aging / drug effects*
  • Sunscreening Agents / pharmacology*
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1 / metabolism
  • Ultraviolet Rays


  • Collagen Type I
  • IL6 protein, human
  • Interleukin-6
  • Plant Extracts
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Sunscreening Agents
  • TGFB1 protein, human
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1
  • MMP3 protein, human
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 3
  • MMP1 protein, human
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 1