Background: Alchemilla mollis (lady's mantle) is a common ingredient in skin care products. However, the protective mechanism of A. mollis against skin problems has not been elucidated.
Purpose: This study was to investigate the effects of A. mollis ethanolic extract (AM) on UVB-irradiated normal human dermal fibroblasts (NHDF) and hairless mice.
Methods: The in vitro anti-photoaging effect of AM was performed in NHDFs. The antioxidant activities were assessed through DPPH, ABTS, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) assays. Matrix metalloproteinase 1 (MMP-1), IL-6, procollagen type I, and transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) were measured by kits. The protein levels of p-c-Jun, p-c-Fos, Nrf2, NQO-1, HO-1, nuclear NFATc1 and cytosolic p-NFATc1 were evaluated by western blotting. In in vivo, H&E and Masson's trichrome staining were carried out. Skin texture was analyzed using the roughness parameters. The expression of MMP-1, procollagen type I, TGF-β1 and elastin were measured by western blot.
Results: AM included gallic acid as an active constituent. AM exhibited a strong antioxidant effect by inhibiting DPPH and ABTS free radicals, as well as ROS production. It was also found to upregulate transforming growth factor β1, type I procollagen and elastin expression, and to downregulate matrix metalloproteinase-1 and interleukin-6 expression in AM-treated NHDFs under UVB irradiation. These effects were attributed to AP-1 and Nrf2/ARE signaling pathways. Significantly, it was demonstrated that AM regulated the UVB-induced NFATc1 dephosphorylation in nucleus. Based on dietary data, AM was effective for the prevention of wrinkle formation, skin thickening, water loss, and erythema in UVB-exposed mouse skin.
Conclusion: Our data indicate that A. mollis provides protection from UVB exposure in both hairless mice skin in vivo and NHDFs in vitro. AM might therefore be useful as a cosmetic material and functional food for the prevention of UVB-induced human skin photoaging.
Keywords: Alchemilla mollis; Anti-aging; NFATc1; Nrf2/ARE; Skin; UVB.
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