Protective Effect of the Pearl Extract from Pinctada fucata martensii Dunker on UV-Induced Photoaging in Mice

Chem Biodivers. 2022 Mar;19(3):e202100876. doi: 10.1002/cbdv.202100876. Epub 2022 Feb 19.


Although the effect of pearl powder has been recognized for more than a thousand years from healthcare to beauty care, there has yet to be an in-depth understanding of its anti-photoaging effect. In the present study, the protective effect of pearl extract (PE) on UV-induced photoaging in mice was evaluated. First, the amino acid analysis of PE was carried out. Then, different dosages of pearl extract gel (PEG) were applied topically on the shaved dorsal skins regions of mice before UV irradiation. Skin physiological and histological analysis, antioxidant enzymes and inflammatory factor test were used to evaluate the anti-photoaging effect of PEG. The results showed that PEG contained 14 amino acids, and could inhibit UV-irritated skin wrinkles, laxity, thickness, and dryness. Moreover, PEG upregulated the activities of CAT, GSH-Px, SOD and decreased MDA level, and suppressed the production of IL-1β, IL-6, PGE2 , TNF-α, and COX-2 in UV-irradiated mice. The therapeutic effect in high dose PEG group was superior to those of positive control (Vitamin E). This study demonstrated the underlying mechanisms of PEG against UV-irritated photoaging. And PEG possesses a potential use in photoprotective medicines and cosmetics.

Keywords: anti-inflammation; anti-photoaging; antioxidant; pearl extract; ultraviolet.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium Carbonate
  • Mice
  • Pinctada*
  • Plant Extracts / metabolism
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Skin
  • Skin Aging*
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects


  • Plant Extracts
  • pearl powder
  • Calcium Carbonate