Anti-acne vulgaris effects of chlorogenic acid by anti-inflammatory activity and lipogenesis inhibition

Exp Dermatol. 2021 Jun;30(6):865-871. doi: 10.1111/exd.14277. Epub 2021 Jan 19.


Chlorogenic acid (CGA) exhibits substantial biological function in antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-lipogenesis and anti-inflammatory activities. Increased sebum production and inflammation are considered important for the development of acne. However, the therapeutic effects of CGA on acne vulgaris remain unexplored. In this study, to assess the effects and underlying mechanisms of CGA on acne, a model of skin inflammation in ears of ICR mouse induced by living Propionibacterium acnes was used. 24 hours after 1.0 × 107 CFU, P. acnes were intradermally injected into the ears of the ICR mouse. 1, 5 and 10 mg of CGA mixed with vaseline were applied to the surface of the skin every 12 hours for 3 days. Then, skin inflammation in the ears was assessed and the change of SREBP1 and TNF-α expression was analysed after CGA treatment. The mechanisms of CGA in anti-inflammatory activity and lipogenesis were also studied in primary sebocytes and HaCaT cells. We found that CGA treatment effectively rescued ear swelling, redness and erythema skin in ears of ICR mouse induced by P. acnes and significantly downregulated the expression of inflammatory cytokines by reducing the activity of the NF-κB signalling pathway. Furthermore, CGA could inhibit lipogenesis at the protein secretion and transcription level by decreasing the AKT/mTOR/SREBP signalling pathway. Our findings suggest that CGA could become a potential alternative drug for the treatment of acne vulgaris.

Keywords: HaCaT; acne vulgaris; chlorogenic acid; inflammation; lipogenesis; sebocytes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / drug therapy*
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Chlorogenic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Lipogenesis / drug effects*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Sebaceous Glands / drug effects


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Chlorogenic Acid