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Abstract

There is considerable interest in the identification of natural agents capable of affording protection to skin from the adverse effects of solar ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation. Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) fruit possesses as strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiproliferative properties. Recently, we have shown that oral feeding of pomegranate fruit extract (PFE) to mice afforded substantial protection from the adverse effects of single UVB radiation via modulation in early biomarkers of photocarcinogenesis. This study was designed to investigate the photochemopreventive effects of PFE (0.2%, wt/vol) after multiple UVB irradiations (180 mJ cm−2, on alternative day, for a total of seven treatments) to the skin of SKH-1 hairless mice. Oral feeding of PFE to SKH-1 mice inhibited UVB-induced epidermal hyperplasia, infiltration of leukocytes, protein oxidation and lipid peroxidation. Immunoblot analysis demonstrated that oral feeding of PFE to mice inhibited UVB-induced (1) nuclear translocation and phosphorylation of nuclear factor kappa B/p65, (2) phosphorylation and degradation of IκBα, (3) activation of IKKα/ΙΚΚβ and (4) phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinase proteins and c-Jun. PFE consumption also inhibited UVB-induced protein expression of (1) COX-2 and iNOS, (2) PCNA and cyclin D1 and (3) matrix metalloproteinases-2,-3 and -9 in mouse skin. Taken together, these data show that PFE consumption afforded protection to mouse skin against the adverse effects of UVB radiation by modulating UVB-induced signaling pathways.