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1 March 2006 Prevention of UV Radiation–Induced Premature Skin Aging in Hairless Mice by the Novel Compound Melanocin A
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Repetitive exposure of the skin to UV radiation induces various harmful changes, such as thickening, wrinkle formation, inflammation and carcinogenesis. A variety of natural compounds and synthetic compounds have been studied to determine whether they can prevent UV-induced harmful effects. In this study, we investigated the effect of a novel compound, Melanocin A, which was isolated from Eupenicillium shearii F80695, on UV-induced premature skin aging. First, we studied the effect of Melanocin A on UV-induced matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)–9 expression in an immortalized human keratinocyte cell line, HaCaT, in vitro. Acute UV irradiation induced MMP-9 expression at both the mRNA and protein levels and Melanocin A suppressed this expression in a dose-dependent manner. We then investigated the effect of Melanocin A on UV-induced skin changes in hairless mice in vivo. Chronic exposure of hairless mouse dorsal skin to UV increased skin thickness and induced wrinkle formation and the gelatinase activities of MMP-2 and MMP-9. Moreover, Melanocin A significantly suppressed UV-induced morphologic skin changes and MMP-2 and MMP-9 expression. Taken together, these results show that Melanocin A can prevent the harmful effects of UV that lead to skin aging. Therefore, we suggest that Melanocin A should be viewed as a potential therapeutic agent for preventing and/or treating premature skin aging.

Chi-Hyun Park, Min Jung Lee, Jong-Pyung Kim, Ick Dong Yoo, and Jin Ho Chung "Prevention of UV Radiation–Induced Premature Skin Aging in Hairless Mice by the Novel Compound Melanocin A," Photochemistry and Photobiology 82(2), 574-578, (1 March 2006).
Received: 25 July 2005; Accepted: 1 November 2005; Published: 1 March 2006

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