Myrcene, an Aromatic Volatile Compound, Ameliorates Human Skin Extrinsic Aging via Regulation of MMPs Production

Am J Chin Med. 2017;45(5):1113-1124. doi: 10.1142/S0192415X17500604. Epub 2017 Jun 28.


Myrcene is an aromatic volatile compound that is commercially well-known as a flavor ingredient in the food industry and a fragrance in the soap and detergent industry. Given the worldwide interest in natural antiphotoaging products, we investigated the protective effects of myrcene in UVB-irradiated human dermal fibroblasts (NHDFs). NHDFs were subjected to 144[Formula: see text]mJ/cm2of UVB irradiation. The expression of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1), MMP-3, interleukin-6 (IL-6), transforming growth factor (TGF-[Formula: see text]1) and type I procollagen were examined. We showed that myrcene decreased the production of ROS, MMP-1, MMP-3, and IL-6, and increased TGF-[Formula: see text]1 and type I procollagen secretions. Furthermore, myrcene treatment (0.1-10[Formula: see text][Formula: see text]M) dramatically reduced the activation of MAPK-related signaling molecules such as p-ERK, p-p38, and p-JNK and AP-1 including p-c-Jun and p-c-Fos. Our data indicate that myrcene has a potential protective effect on UVB-induced human skin photoaging. Therefore, myrcene might have applications in the skincare industry.

Keywords: AP-1; Anti-Photoaging; MAPKs; MMPs; Myrcene; Type I Procollagen.

MeSH terms

  • Acyclic Monoterpenes
  • Alkenes / pharmacology*
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / radiation effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Collagen Type I / metabolism
  • Dermis / cytology
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism*
  • Fibroblasts / radiation effects
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System / genetics
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 1 / metabolism*
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / metabolism*
  • Monoterpenes / pharmacology*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Skin Aging / drug effects*
  • Skin Aging / genetics
  • Skin Aging / radiation effects*
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1 / metabolism
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects*
  • Volatile Organic Compounds / pharmacology*


  • Acyclic Monoterpenes
  • Alkenes
  • Collagen Type I
  • Interleukin-6
  • Monoterpenes
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1
  • Volatile Organic Compounds
  • myrcene
  • MMP9 protein, human
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9
  • MMP1 protein, human
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 1