Prunella vulgaris extract and rosmarinic acid prevent UVB-induced DNA damage and oxidative stress in HaCaT keratinocytes


Solar radiation is a very important exogenous factor in skin pathogenesis and can lead to the development of a number of skin disorders. UVB irradiation is known to induce oxidative stress, inflammation and especially DNA lesions in exposed cells. It is important, therefore, to identify agents that can offer protection against UVB-caused skin damage. Natural compounds have been studied for their possible ability to control/modulate various lifestyle-related diseases. The application of plant compounds/extracts with screening, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities may also successfully protect the skin against UV-caused injury. We assessed the potency of Prunella vulgaris extract (PVE) and its main phenolic acid component, rosmarinic acid (RA), to suppress UVB-induced (295–315 nm) alterations to human keratinocytes HaCaT using a solar simulator. Pre- and post-treatment of HaCaT cells with PVE (5–50 mg/l) and RA (0.18–1.8 mg/l) reduced breakage together with the apoptotic process. PVE and RA also significantly eliminated ROS production and diminished IL-6 release. Taken together, both PVE and RA prevent UVB-caused injury to keratinocytes. However their efficacy needs to be demonstrated in vivo.

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This work was supported by the grant of Grant Agency of the Czech Republic (303/07/P314) and Ministry of Education of the Czech Republic (MSM 6198959216). We thank Dr. Ladislav Cvak (IVAX Pharmaceuticals, Opava, Czech Republic) for providing the P. vulgaris extract.

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Correspondence to Alena Svobodová.

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Vostálová, J., Zdařilová, A. & Svobodová, A. Prunella vulgaris extract and rosmarinic acid prevent UVB-induced DNA damage and oxidative stress in HaCaT keratinocytes. Arch Dermatol Res 302, 171–181 (2010).

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  • Prunella vulgaris
  • Rosmarinic acid
  • UVB
  • Oxidative stress
  • Apoptosis
  • DNA damage