Hyaluronan is a component of the extracellular matrix that plays a role in water retention in tissues. In this study, we orally administered hyaluronans of varying molecular weights (300k and less than 10k) repeatedly to hairless mice exposed to ultraviolet (UV) irradiation and examined their effects on the skin of these mice. UV irradiation induces a marked increase in the epidermal thickness of the dorsal skin and a marked decrease in the skin moisture content; however, orally administered hyaluronan, particularly that with a molecular weight of less than 10k, markedly reversed the increase and decrease in the epidermal thickness and skin moisture content, respectively. Furthermore, on analyzing the mice skin, orally administered hyaluronan with a molecular weight of less than 10k increased the levels of the HAS2 gene expression in the skin. Based on these findings, it is assumed that orally administered hyaluronans, with molecular weight of 300k and less than 10k, reversed UV irradiation-induced skin disturbance. In particular, it was considered that the increase in the skin moisture content by orally administered hyaluronan, with a molecular weight of less than 10k, was related to the effect on skin cells.
Keywords: Hairless mice; Hyaluronan; Photoaging; Skin moisture content; Ultraviolet irradiation.
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