Genes & Genomics

, Volume 39, Issue 6, pp 667–673 | Cite as

Effect of hemp fiber on UVB-induced epidermal cell proliferation and PCNA expression

  • Sangeun Lee
  • Chan-Mi Kim
  • Jang Ho Lee
  • Kyungho Lee
  • Kyoung Sang Cho
  • Eun-Soo KimEmail author
Research Article


Ultraviolet radiation commonly causes serious skin diseases, and skin cell death. The UVB-blocking effect of hemp fabric which known to be a powerful agent against UVB was evaluated using mouse auricle skin. Based on UVB irradiation and the use of different fabrics, four mouse groups were evaluated in this study: two experimental groups, Group 1 (UVB exposed hemp fabric-shield site, EHFS), Group 2 (UVB exposed polyester fabric-shield site, EPFS), and two control groups, Group 3 (UVB exposed non-fabric-shield site, ENFS), and Group 4 (UVB unexposed non-fabric-shield site, UNFS). Except for UNFS all samples were exposed to UVB for 28 h and showed clear histologic changes in epidermis and dermis. After 45 h chronic irradiation, epidermal thickness was doubled in EHFS, roughly tripled in EPFS, and more than quadrupled in ENFS over that of UNFS. Based on the thickness of the altered epidermis, the blocking effect of hemp fabric was 50% higher than that of polyester fabric. Additionally, immunohistochemical analysis revealed expression of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) in ENFS and EPFS throughout the hyperplasia of keratinocytes and sebocytes. After 45 h irradiation, the sebocytes of sebaceous glands, observed in sectioned images, increased on average to 14 cells in ENFS, 9 cells in EPFS, and 7 cells in EHFS, as compared to 8 cells in UNFS. In contrast, the cell area of adipose tissue was decreased by half in EHFS, one-fourth in EPFS, and one-tenth in ENFS, and mostly replaced with fibroblasts and other supporting cells. These results suggest that UVB irradiation directly affects epidermal and dermal tissues, and induces abnormal proliferation of keratinocytes and hyperplasia of sebocytes consuming fats in adipose tissue. For skin health, hemp fabric is a better material for protecting the skin against UVB than polyester fabric.


Adipose tissue Epidermis Hemp Keratinocyte Sebocyte PCNA UVB 



Ultraviolet B


UVB exposed hemp fabric-shield site


UVB exposed polyester fabric-shield site


UVB exposed non-fabric-shield site


UVB unexposed non-fabric-shield site


Proliferating cell nuclear antigen



This paper was supported by Konkuk University in 2014.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Sangeun Lee declares that she has no conflict of interest. Chan-Mi Kim declares that she has no conflict of interest. Jang Ho Lee declares that he has no conflict of interest. Kyungho Lee declares that he has no conflict of interest. Kyoung Sang Cho declares that he has no conflict of interest. Eun-Soo Kim declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This study was approved by the Ethics Committee of Konkuk University, Republic of Korea.


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Copyright information

© The Genetics Society of Korea and Springer-Science and Media 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sangeun Lee
    • 1
  • Chan-Mi Kim
    • 1
  • Jang Ho Lee
    • 1
  • Kyungho Lee
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kyoung Sang Cho
    • 1
    • 2
  • Eun-Soo Kim
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesKonkuk UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Korea Hemp InstituteKonkuk UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea

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