Background Previously, we have demonstrated that fibroblast-derived elastase plays an essential role in the increased three-dimensional tortuosity of elastic fibers, contributing to the loss of skin elasticity in UV-B-exposed skin. This decrease in skin elasticity is closely associated with the formation of wrinkles induced by UV exposure.
Objective To further clarify the role of elastase in the formation of wrinkles induced by UV exposure, we assessed the effects of an extract of Zingiber officinale (L.) Rose (which inhibits fibroblast-derived elastase) on the wrinkle formation induced by chronic UV-B irradiation.
Results Topical application of an extract of Zingiber officinale (L.) Rose to rat or hairless mouse skin significantly inhibited the wrinkle formation induced by chronic UV-B irradiation at a suberythemal dose, which was accompanied by a significant prevention of the decrease in skin elasticity in both types of animal skin. In the rat hind limb skin, consistent with the inhibition of reduced skin elasticity, wrinkle prevention occurred concomitantly with a significant decrease in the curling and three-dimensional tortuosity of dermal elastic fibers.
Conclusion Our results indicate that herbal extracts with an ability to inhibit fibroblast-derived elastase may prove to be effective as antiwrinkling agents, confirming the important role of elastase in UV-B-induced wrinkle formation.