Protective effect of pre- and post-vitamin C treatments on UVB-irradiation-induced skin damage

Sci Rep. 2018 Nov 1;8(1):16199. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-34530-4.


Several studies have reported the effects of vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid, AA) on ultraviolet B (UVB)-induced cell damage using cultured keratinocytes. However, the epidermis consists of multiple cell layers, and the effect of AA on UVB-induced damage to the human epidermis remains unclear. Therefore, we investigated the effect of AA on UVB-induced skin damage using reconstituted human epidermis. The reconstituted human epidermal surface was treated with 100 and 500 mM AA and cultured for 3 h before (pre-AA treatment) or after (post-AA treatment) 120 mJ/cm2 UVB irradiation. Pre- and post-AA treatments of the epidermal surface suppressed UVB-induced cell death, apoptosis, DNA damage, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, and the inflammatory response by downregulating tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) expression and release. Moreover, the pre-AA treatment was more effective at preventing UVB-induced skin damage than the post-AA treatment. In summary, pre- and post-AA treatments of the epidermis prevent UVB-induced damage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Apoptosis / radiation effects
  • Ascorbic Acid / metabolism
  • Ascorbic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • DNA Damage / drug effects
  • DNA Damage / radiation effects
  • Epidermis / drug effects
  • Epidermis / metabolism
  • Epidermis / pathology
  • Epidermis / radiation effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Keratinocytes / drug effects*
  • Keratinocytes / metabolism
  • Keratinocytes / pathology
  • Keratinocytes / radiation effects
  • Radiation Injuries / drug therapy*
  • Radiation Injuries / metabolism
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Skin / drug effects*
  • Skin / injuries
  • Skin / radiation effects
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / genetics
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects


  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Ascorbic Acid