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© 2005 Society of Cosmetic Chemists
Journal of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists, Vol. 56, No. 1, 17-27

L-Ergothioneine scavenges superoxide and singlet oxygen and suppresses TNF-α and MMP-1 expression in UV-irradiated human dermal fibroblasts
Kei Obayashi , Kouji Kurihara , Yuri Okano , Hitoshi Masaki , Daniel B. Yarosh



Ergothioneine (EGT) is a sulfur-containing amino acid, and is presumed to function as a natural antioxidant. The purpose of this study was to identify the nature of the antioxidant activity and investigate the effects of EGT on UV-induced cellular response. In chemical studies, EGT scavenged the superoxide anion radical (•O 2 ) and singlet oxygen ( 1 O 2 ). In cultured fibroblasts, EGT suppressed TNF-α up-regulation by UVB irradiation. In addition, in fibroblasts exposed to UV-A, EGT suppressed the expression of matrix metalloproteinase 1 (MMP-I) protein by nearly 50% and reduced MMP-I mRNA expression. From these results, we conclude that EGT scavenges reactive oxygen species generated by both Type I and Type II photosen-sitization and suppresses both TNF-α expression and MMP-I at their transcriptional level. EGT may reduce skin anti-aging effects after UV irradiation by the scavenging of •O 2 and 1 O 2 , and reducing signals for protease and inflammatory activity.

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© 2005 Society of Cosmetic Chemists
Journal of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists