The protective effects of piceatannol from passion fruit (Passiflora edulis) seeds in UVB-irradiated keratinocytes

Biol Pharm Bull. 2013;36(5):845-9. doi: 10.1248/bpb.b12-00708.


The use of naturally occurring botanicals with substantial antioxidant activity to prevent photoageing is receiving increasing attention. We have previously identified piceatannol and scirpusin B, which is a dimer of piceatannol, as strong antioxidants that are present in passion fruit (Passiflora edulis) seeds. In the present study, the effects of passion fruit seed extract, piceatannol, and scirpusin B on human keratinocytes were investigated. The passion fruit seed extract and piceatannol upregulated the glutathione (GSH) levels in keratinocytes in a dose-dependent manner, indicating that piceatannol is an active component of the passion fruit seed extract in keratinocytes. The pretreatment with piceatannol also suppressed the UVB-induced generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the keratinocytes. In addition, the transfer of the medium from the UVB-irradiated keratinocytes to non-irradiated fibroblasts enhanced matrix-metalloproteinase (MMP)-1 activity, and this MMP-1 induction was reduced when the keratinocytes were pretreated with piceatannol. These results suggest that piceatannol attenuates the UVB-induced activity of MMP-1 along with a reduction of ROS generation in keratinocytes. Thus, piceatannol and passion fruit seed extract containing high amounts of piceatannol are potential anti-photoageing cosmetic ingredients.

MeSH terms

  • Benzofurans / pharmacology*
  • Cell Line
  • Cells
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Keratinocytes / drug effects
  • Keratinocytes / metabolism
  • Keratinocytes / radiation effects
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 1 / metabolism
  • Passiflora
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Radiation-Protective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Seeds
  • Skin Aging
  • Stilbenes / pharmacology*
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects*


  • Benzofurans
  • Plant Extracts
  • Radiation-Protective Agents
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Stilbenes
  • scirpusin B
  • 3,3',4,5'-tetrahydroxystilbene
  • MMP1 protein, human
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 1
  • Glutathione