Crocetin protects ultraviolet A-induced oxidative stress and cell death in skin in vitro and in vivo

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Crocetin, the aglycone of crocin, is a carotenoid found in fruits of gardenia (Gardeina jasminoides Ellis) and saffron (Crocus sativus L.). We investigated the protective effects of crocetin against ultraviolet-A (UV-A)-induced skin damage and explored the underlying mechanism. Human skin-derived fibroblasts cells (NB1-RGB) were damaged by exposure to UV-A irradiation (10 J/cm2). Crocetin protected these cells against cell death and reduced the production of reactive oxygen species induced by UV-A irradiation. Crocetin treatment also suppressed induction of caspase-3 activation by UV-A irradiation. The effects of crocetin against oxidative stress were also examined by imaging of Keap1-dependent oxidative stress detector (OKD) mice. UV-A irradiation upregulated oxidative stress in the OKD mice skin, while crocetin administration (100 mg/kg, p.o.) ameliorated this oxidative stress. Crocetin administration also decreased lipid peroxidation in the skin. These findings suggest that crocetin its observed protective effects against UV-A induced skin damage by reducing reactive oxygen species production and cell apoptosis.

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