Benefits of Circulating Human Metabolites from Fish Cartilage Hydrolysate on Primary Human Dermal Fibroblasts, an Ex Vivo Clinical Investigation for Skin Health Applications

Nutrients. 2022 Nov 25;14(23):5027. doi: 10.3390/nu14235027.


Due to its significant exposure to stressful environmental factors, the skin undergoes a high remodeling rate over time, which alters not only its appearance but also its functionality. This alteration of the skin, namely photoaging, is characterized by dryness and a loss of elasticity that mainly originates from the dysregulation of dermal fibroblast activities. In order to overcome such tissue outcome, cosmetic products have evolved toward nutricosmetics, thus promoting beauty from within. Among bio-actives of interest, bio-peptides deriving from plant or animal sources may exert various biological activities beyond their nutritional value. However, studies remain mostly descriptive and the mode of action at the cellular level in clinic remains a concern. In a recent clinical trial, it was showed that supplementation with a fish cartilage hydrolysate (FCH) improved signs of chronological and photoaging-induced skin changes in healthy women. Here, using an original ex vivo clinical approach adapted to nutricosmetic purpose, we further demonstrated that this fish cartilage hydrolysate was absorbed and that the circulating metabolites produced in humans following FCH intake stimulate human dermal fibroblast growth, promote specific hyaluronan production, up-regulate elastin synthesis and inhibit MMP-1 and 3 expression along with the enhancement of TGF-β release. Altogether, these data provide clues on the mechanisms likely contributing to the beneficial impact of FCH on human skin functionality by supporting hydration, elasticity and limiting the expression of catabolic factors involved in photoaging onset.

Keywords: chondroitin sulfate; clinical trial; human dermal fibroblasts; marine hydrolyzed collagen; primary cells; skin health.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cartilage
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Fishes
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronic Acid / metabolism
  • Hyaluronic Acid / pharmacology
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Skin Aging*
  • Ultraviolet Rays


  • Hyaluronic Acid