Background: EGb-761 is an antioxidant and anticarcinogen; however, its role as a photoprotector remains unknown. Objective: To determine whether EGb-761 photoprotects human dermal fibroblasts and BALB/c mice skin against ultraviolet B (UVB) light irradiation. Methods: To simulate chronic photodamage, shaved BALB/c mice were exposed to UVB irradiation (90mJ/cm2) thrice weekly for 3 months. EGb-761 (2mg/cm2) was topically applied 1h before irradiation to evaluate its effect. The mechanisms by which EGb-761 protects the skin from photodamage were evaluated by immunohistochemical analysis, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and Western blotting. Results: In BALB/c mice, the signs of photoaging or photodamage, such as coarse wrinkle formation, epidermal hyperplasia, and elastic fiber degeneration, markedly reduced with the topical application of EGb-761. Western blot and ELISA revealed that the activation of MMP-1 in cultured fibroblasts markedly diminished after pretreatment with EGb-761. In addition, EGb-761 inhibited UVB-induced overexpression by the fibroblasts of the proinflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin (IL)-1α, IL-1β, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor-α. The phosphorylation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signal transduction pathway components, including extracellular signal-regulated kinase, C-Jun N-terminal kinase, and p38, which are induced by UV irradiation, was significantly inhibited in vivo and in vitro. EGb-761 also diminished the generation of UVB-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS). Conclusions: EGb-761 photoprotects mice and cultured fibroblasts, inhibits the UVB-induced phosphorylation of MAPK pathway components, and reduces the expression of the proinflammatory cytokines by suppressing ROS generation. Thus, topically applied EGb-761 may be a promising photoprotective agent.
- BALB/c mice
- Matrix metalloproteinase
- Mitogen activated protein kinase
- Ultraviolet irradiation