Phosphatidylserine (PS), a highly enriched membrane phospholipid component, is known to have several physiological roles, such as activating signaling enzymes and antioxidant activity. However, the protective biological mechanisms of PS in human skin have not been clearly investigated. In this study, we investigated the anti-photoaging effects of PS and its possible mechanisms in UVB-induced human dermal fibroblasts (HDFs). After 24 h incubation, PS significantly increased type I procollagen synthesis with or without UVB exposure. The expressions of MMP-1 and pro-MMP-1 were inhibited, and activities of total MMPs were decreased in a dose-dependent manner by treatment of PS in UVB-induced HDFs. The MAPKs/AP-1 signaling pathway was downregulated by PS in a dose-dependent manner. PS increases procollagen synthesis and inhibits MMP-1 expression and activity by downregulating MAPKS/AP-1 signaling pathways. This study suggests that PS can be used as a therapeutic agent to prevent UVB-induced skin photoaging and perhaps even natural skin aging.
Practical applications: In this study, we evaluated the protective effects and mechanism of PS on UV induced photoaging in human dermal fibroplasts. PS increases type I procollagen synthesis and decreases MMP-1 activity by downregulating the MAPK/AP-1 signaling pathway in UVB-induced HDFs. These results suggest that PS can be used as a therapeutic agent for the treatment and prevention of photoaging and possibly even natural aging in human skin. For medicinal and cosmetic application, further studies on in vivo clinical applications are necessary to fully elucidate the function and mechanism of PS on human skin photoaging.