Protective Effects of Euphrasia officinalis Extract against Ultraviolet B-Induced Photoaging in Normal Human Dermal Fibroblasts

Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Oct 25;19(11):3327. doi: 10.3390/ijms19113327.


Ultraviolet (UV) radiation induces skin photoaging, which is associated with the elevation of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and the impairment of collagen. The Euphrasia species play a well-known role in the treatment of certain eye disorders through their anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory activities. However, their protective activity toward UVB-induced damage remains unclear. In the present study, we investigated the protective effect of Euphrasia officinalis (95% ethanol extract) on UVB-irradiated photoaging in normal human dermal fibroblasts (NHDFs). Our results show that Euphrasia officinalis extract exhibited obvious reactive oxygen species (ROS) and 2,2'-azino-bis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS) radical scavenging activity, enhanced NHDF cell migration, and reduced UVB-induced apoptosis. The UVB-induced increases in MMP-1 and MMP-3 and decrease in type I procollagen were ameliorated by Euphrasia officinalis treatment, which worked by suppressing the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and nuclear transcription factor activator protein 1 (AP-1) signaling pathways. Taken together, our data strongly suggest that Euphrasia officinalis ethanol extract could reduce UVB-induced photoaging by alleviating oxidative stress, proinflammatory activity, and cell apoptosis.

Keywords: Euphrasia officinalis; apoptosis; matrix metalloproteinases; photoaging; type I procollagen; ultraviolet B.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Movement / drug effects
  • Cell Movement / radiation effects
  • Cellular Senescence / drug effects
  • Cellular Senescence / radiation effects
  • Collagen Type I / metabolism
  • Euphrasia / chemistry*
  • Fibroblasts / cytology
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects*
  • Fibroblasts / radiation effects*
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 1 / metabolism
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 3 / metabolism
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Skin / cytology*
  • Skin / drug effects
  • Skin / radiation effects
  • Skin Aging / drug effects
  • Skin Aging / radiation effects
  • Ultraviolet Rays*


  • Collagen Type I
  • Plant Extracts
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 3
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 1