Background: Naturally occurring antioxidants were used to regulate the skin damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) radiation because several antioxidants have demonstrated that they can inhibit wrinkle formation through prevention of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and/or increase of collagen synthesis.
Objective: We examined the effect of oral administration of the antioxidant mixture of vitamin C, vitamin E, pycnogenol, and evening primrose oil on UVB-induced wrinkle formation. In addition, we investigated the possible molecular mechanism of photoprotection against UVB through inhibition of collagen-degrading MMP activity or through enhancement of procollagen synthesis in mouse dorsal skin.
Methods: Female SKH-1 hairless mice were orally administrated the antioxidant mixture (test group) or vehicle (control group) for 10 weeks with UVB irradiation three times a week. The intensity of irradiation was gradually increased from 30 to 180 mJ/cm2. Microtopographic and histological assessment of the dorsal skins was carried out at the end of 10 weeks to evaluate wrinkle formation. Western blot analysis and EMSA were also carried out to investigate the changes in the balance of collagen synthesis and collagen degradation.
Results: Our antioxidant mixture significantly reduced UVB-induced wrinkle formation, accompanied by significant reduction of epidermal thickness, and UVB-induced hyperplasia, acanthosis, and hyperkeratosis. This antioxidant mixture significantly prevented the UVB-induced expressions of MMPs, mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase, and activation of activator protein (AP)-1 transcriptional factor in addition to enhanced type I procollagen and transforming growth factor-β2 (TGF-β2) expression.
Conclusion: Oral administration of the antioxidant mixture significantly inhibited wrinkle formation caused by chronic UVB irradiation through significant inhibition of UVB-induced MMP activity accompanied by enhancement of collagen synthesis.