Topical Bixin Confers NRF2-Dependent Protection Against Photodamage and Hair Graying in Mouse Skin.
ABSTRACT: Environmental exposure to solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation causes acute photodamage, premature aging, and skin cancer, attributable to UV-induced genotoxic, oxidative, and inflammatory stress. The transcription factor NRF2 [nuclear factor erythroid 2 (E2)-related factor 2] is the master regulator of the cellular antioxidant response protecting skin against various environmental stressors including UV radiation and electrophilic pollutants. NRF2 in epidermal keratinocytes can be activated using natural chemopreventive compounds such as the apocarotenoid bixin, an FDA-approved food additive and cosmetic ingredient from the seeds of the achiote tree (Bixa orellana). Here, we tested the feasibility of topical use of bixin for NRF2-dependent skin photoprotection in two genetically modified mouse models [SKH1 and C57BL/6J (Nrf2+/+ versus Nrf2-/- )]. First, we observed that a bixin formulation optimized for topical NRF2 activation suppresses acute UV-induced photodamage in Nrf2+/+ but not Nrf2-/- SKH1 mice, a photoprotective effect indicated by reduced epidermal hyperproliferation and oxidative DNA damage. Secondly, it was demonstrated that topical bixin suppresses PUVA (psoralen + UVA)-induced hair graying in Nrf2+/+ but not Nrf2-/- C57BL/6J mice. Collectively, this research provides the first in vivo evidence that topical application of bixin can protect against UV-induced photodamage and PUVA-induced loss of hair pigmentation through NRF2 activation. Topical NRF2 activation using bixin may represent a novel strategy for human skin photoprotection, potentially complementing conventional sunscreen-based approaches.
Project description:Exposure to solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a causative factor in skin photodamage and carcinogenesis, and an urgent need exists for improved molecular photoprotective strategies different from (or synergistic with) photon absorption. Recent studies suggest a photoprotective role of cutaneous gene expression orchestrated by the transcription factor NRF2 (nuclear factor-E2-related factor 2). Here we have explored the molecular mechanism underlying carotenoid-based systemic skin photoprotection in SKH-1 mice and provide genetic evidence that photoprotection achieved by the FDA-approved apocarotenoid and food additive bixin depends on NRF2 activation. Bixin activates NRF2 through the critical Cys-151 sensor residue in KEAP1, orchestrating a broad cytoprotective response in cultured human keratinocytes as revealed by antioxidant gene expression array analysis. Following dose optimization studies for cutaneous NRF2 activation by systemic administration of bixin, feasibility of bixin-based suppression of acute cutaneous photodamage from solar UV exposure was investigated in Nrf2(+/+) versus Nrf2(-/-) SKH-1 mice. Systemic administration of bixin suppressed skin photodamage, attenuating epidermal oxidative DNA damage and inflammatory responses in Nrf2(+/+) but not in Nrf2(-/-) mice, confirming the NRF2-dependence of bixin-based cytoprotection. Taken together, these data demonstrate feasibility of achieving NRF2-dependent cutaneous photoprotection by systemic administration of the apocarotenoid bixin, a natural food additive consumed worldwide.
Project description:Mottled skin pigmentation and solar lentigines from chronic photodamage with aging involve complex interactions between keratinocytes and melanocytes. However, the precise signaling mechanisms that could serve as therapeutic targets are unclear. Herein, we report that expression of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2), which regulates reduction-oxidation reactions, is altered in solar lentigines and photodamaged skin. Moreover, mottled skin pigmentation in humans could be treated with topical application of the NRF2 inducer sulforaphane (SF). Similarly, UV light-induced pigmentation of WT mouse ear skin could be treated or prevented with SF treatment. Conversely, SF treatment was unable to reduce UV-induced ear skin pigmentation in mice deficient in NRF2 or in mice with keratinocyte-specific conditional deletion of IL-6R?. Taken together, NRF2 and IL-6R? signaling are involved in the pathogenesis of UV-induced skin pigmentation, and specific enhancement of NRF2 signaling could represent a potential therapeutic target.
Project description:Better preventive strategies are required to reduce ultraviolet (UV)-caused photodamage, the primary etiological factor for non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC). Accordingly, here we examined the preventive efficacy of silibinin against UVB-induced photodamage using mouse epidermal JB6 cells and SKH1 hairless mouse epidermis. In JB6 cells, silibinin pretreatment protected against apoptosis and accelerated the repair of cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPD) induced by moderate dose of UVB (50 mJ/cm(2)), which we are at risk of daily exposure. Silibinin also reversed UVB-induced S phase arrest, reducing both active DNA synthesizing and inactive S phase populations. In mechanistic studies, UVB-irradiated cells showed a transient upregulation of both phosphorylated (Ser-15 and Ser-392) and total p53, whereas silibinin pretreatment led to a more sustained upregulation and stronger nuclear localization of p53. Silibinin also caused a marked upregulation of GADD45?, a downstream target of p53, implicated in DNA repair and cell cycle regulation. Importantly, under p53 and GADD45? knockdown conditions, cells were more susceptible to UVB-induced apoptosis without any significant S phase arrest, and protective effects of silibinin were compromised. Similar to the in vitro results, topical application of silibinin prior to or immediately after UVB irradiation resulted in sustained increase in p53 and GADD45? levels and accelerated CPD removal in the epidermis of SKH1 hairless mice. Together, our results show for the first time that p53-mediated GADD45? upregulation is the key mechanism by which silibinin protects against UVB-induced photodamage and provides a strong rationale to investigate silibinin in reducing the risk and/or preventing early onset of NMSC.
Project description:Scope: Particle-induced lung injury is a kind of comprehensive pulmonary disease with not only inflammation but also fibrosis. Bixin is a natural compound that is widely used as a food additive. Our previous studies demonstrated that bixin could alleviate inflammation in ventilation-induced acute lung injury as well as UV-exposure caused skin damage. But whether it could depress silica-induced long-term comprehensive lung injury and the mechanism of bixin in this protection have not yet been studied. Methods: A murine SiO2-induced long-term comprehensive lung injury model was established through silica intratracheal instillation. To elucidate the effects and mechanisms of bixin in silica-induced pulmonary inflammation and fibrosis, we treated mice with bixin following silica instillation. Results: Bixin treatment attenuated the accumulation of inflammatory cells which significantly ameliorated pathological inflammation and fibrotic development in the lungs. In addition, intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of bixin in mice led to the upregulation of the NRF2 response in the lungs. Since alveolar macrophage activation plays a vital role in the initiation and progression of this injury, the mechanism was further studied in the THP-1 macrophage cells. Bixin activated NRF2 signals via blocking KEAP1 mediated ubiquitylation and degradation of NRF2. Conclusions: Our work has brought insights into exploring anti-particle-induced lung injury activities in the daily consumption of natural products. In addition, our study also inspires the discovery of new beneficial effects of bixin and its application in the treatment of other inflammatory diseases.
Project description:Background:Skin photodamage is associated with ultraviolet- (UV-) induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) overproduction and nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) inactivation. In our previous study, skin-derived precursors (SKPs) were shown to ameliorate a UV-induced damage in mice, probably through Nrf2 activation and ROS scavenging. Objective:To clarify the mechanism underlying the photoprotective effect of SKPs against UV-induced damage in a three-dimensional (3D) skin model. Methods:The Nrf2 gene in SKPs was modified using lentiviral infection, and 3D skin models were reconstructed with keratinocytes and fibroblasts on the basis of type I collagen. Subsequently, these models were divided into the following six groups: normal, model, overexpressed, control, silenced, and negative control groups. Prior to irradiation, respective SKPs were injected into the last four groups. Next, all groups except the normal group were exposed to UVA+UVB. Lastly, the pathological and molecular-biological techniques were employed to determine the parameters. Additionally, LY294002, a PI3K inhibitor, was used to investigate the roles of PI3K/Akt and Nrf2/hemeoxygenase-1 (HO-1) in SKP photoprotection. Results:Normal 3D skin models appeared as milky-white analogs with a clear, well-arranged histological structure. After the skin was exposed to irradiation, it exhibited cell swelling and a disorganized structure and developed nuclear condensation with numerous apoptotic cells. The expressions of cellular protective genes and Nrf2/HO-1/PI3K/Akt proteins remarkably decreased, which were accompanied by increased oxidative stress and decreased antioxidants (P < 0.05). However, these phenomena were reversed by nrf2-overexpressing SKPs. The 3D skin in the overexpressed group showed mild swelling, neatly arranged cells, and few apoptotic cells. Cellular protective genes and Nrf2/HO-1/PI3K/Akt proteins were highly expressed, and the oxidative biomarkers were remarkably ameliorated (P < 0.05). Nevertheless, the expression of these proteins decreased after LY294002 pretreatment regardless of SKP treatment or not. Meanwhile, there were increases in both UV-induced apoptotic cells and ROS level accompanied with SOD and GPX decrease in the presence of LY294002. Conclusions:Evidence from the 3D skin model demonstrates that the protection of SKPs against UV-mediated damage is primarily via the PI3K/Akt-mediated activation of the Nrf2/HO-1 pathway, indicating that SKPs may be a promising candidate for the treatment of photodermatoses.
Project description:Psoralen and UVA (PUVA) has immunosuppressive and proapoptotic effects, which are thought to be responsible alone or in combination for its therapeutic efficacy. However, the molecular mechanism by which PUVA mediates its effects is not well understood. Activation of the serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) pathway has been suggested to be involved in the modulation of T-cell responses and found to mediate UVB-induced immune suppression. In particular, the activation of the 5-HT2A receptor has been proposed as one mechanism responsible for UV-induced immune suppression. We therefore hypothesized that 5-HT may play a role in PUVA-induced effects. The model of systemic suppression of delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) to Candida albicans was used to study immune function after exposure of C3H and KIT(W) (-Sh/W-Sh) mice to a minimal inflammatory dose of topical PUVA. The intra-peritoneal injection of the 5-HT2 receptor antagonist ketanserin or cyproheptadine or an anti-5-HT antibody immediately before PUVA exposure entirely abrogated suppression of DTH but had no significant effect on inflammation, as measured by swelling and cellular infiltration of the skin, and apoptosis as determined by the number of sunburn cells in C3H mice. Importantly, the systemic injection of 5-HT recapitulated PUVA immune suppression of DTH but did not induce inflammation or apoptosis in the skin. KIT(W) (-Sh/W-Sh) mice (exhibiting myelopoietic abnormalities, including lack of 5-HT-containing mast cells) were resistant to PUVA-induced suppression of DTH but not local skin swelling. Thus, this points towards a crucial role of 5-HT signalling in PUVA-induced immune suppression but not inflammation or apoptosis in situ in the skin.
Project description:Electromagnetic radiation in the ultraviolet, visible, and infrared ranges produces biologic effects in humans. Where some of these effects are beneficial, others are harmful to the skin, particularly those stemming from ultraviolet radiation (UVR). Pharmacological photoprotection can be topical or systemic. Systemic photoprotection is often administered orally, complementing topical protection. New and classic oral agents (e.g., essential micronutrients as vitamins, minerals, polyphenols, carotenoids) are endowed with photoprotective and anti-photocarcinogenic properties. These substances bear the potential to increase systemic protection against the effects of electromagnetic radiation in the UV, visible, and infrared ranges. Protective mechanisms vary and include anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory effects. As such, they provide protection against UVR and prevent photo-induced carcinogenesis and aging. In this review, we present state of the art approaches regarding the photoprotective effects of vitamins and vitamin derivatives, dietary botanical, and non-botanical agents. A growing body of data supports the beneficial effects of oral photoprotection on the health of the skin. More studies will likely confirm and expand the positive impact of oral dietary botanicals as complementary measures for photoprotection.
Project description:Hairless albino Crl:SKH1-Hr(hr) mice are commonly utilized for studies in which hair or pigmentation would introduce an impediment to observational studies. Being an outbred strain, the SKH1 model suffers from key limitations that are not seen with congenic mouse strains. Inbred and congenic C57BL/6J mice are commonly utilized for modified genetic mouse models. We compare the acute UV-induced photoresponse between outbred SKH1 mice and an immune competent, hairless, albino C57BL/6J congenic mouse line [B6.Cg-Tyr(c-2J) Hr(hr) /J]. Histologically, B6.Cg-Tyr(c-2J) Hr(hr) /J skin is indistinguishable from that of SKH1 mice. The skin of both SKH1 and B6.Cg-Tyr(c-2J) Hr(hr) /J mice exhibited a reduction in hypodermal adipose tissue, the presence of utricles and dermal cystic structures, the presence of dermal granulomas and epidermal thickening. In response to a single 1500 J/m(2) ultraviolet B dose, the oedema and apoptotic responses were equivalent in both mouse strains. However, B6.Cg-Tyr(c-2J) Hr(hr) /J mice exhibited a more robust delayed sunburn reaction, with an increase in epidermal erosion, scab formation and myeloperoxidase activity relative to SKH1 mice. Compared with SKH1 mice, B6.Cg-Tyr(c-2J) Hr(hr) /J also exhibited an aberrant proliferative response to this single UV exposure. Epidermal Ki67 immunopositivity was significantly suppressed in B6.Cg-Tyr(c-2J) Hr(hr) /J mice at 24 h post-UV. A smaller non-significant reduction in Ki67 labelling was observed in SKH1 mice. Finally, at 72 h post-UV, SKH1 mice, but not B6.Cg-Tyr(c-2J) Hr(hr) /J mice, exhibited a significant increase in Ki67 immunolabelling relative to non-irradiated controls. Thus, B6.Cg-Tyr(c-2J) Hr(hr) /J mice are suitable for photobiology experiments.
Project description:The transcription factor Nrf2 determines the ability to adapt and survive under conditions of electrophilic, oxidative, and inflammatory stress by regulating the expression of elaborate networks comprising nearly 500 genes encoding proteins with versatile cytoprotective functions. In mice, disruption of Nrf2 increases susceptibility to carcinogens and accelerates disease pathogenesis. Paradoxically, Nrf2 is upregulated in established human tumors, but whether this upregulation drives carcinogenesis is not known. Here we show that the incidence, multiplicity, and burden of solar-simulated UV radiation-mediated cutaneous tumors that form in SKH-1 hairless mice in which Nrf2 is genetically constitutively activated are lower than those that arise in their wild-type counterparts. Pharmacologic Nrf2 activation by topical biweekly applications of small (40 nmol) quantities of the potent bis(cyano enone) inducer TBE-31 has a similar protective effect against solar-simulated UV radiation in animals receiving long-term treatment with the immunosuppressive agent azathioprine. Genetic or pharmacologic Nrf2 activation lowers the expression of the pro-inflammatory factors IL6 and IL1?, and COX2 after acute exposure of mice to UV radiation. In healthy human subjects, topical applications of extracts delivering the Nrf2 activator sulforaphane reduced the degree of solar-simulated UV radiation-induced skin erythema, a quantifiable surrogate endpoint for cutaneous damage and skin cancer risk. Collectively, these data show that Nrf2 is not a driver for tumorigenesis even upon exposure to a very potent and complete carcinogen and strongly suggest that the frequent activation of Nrf2 in established human tumors is a marker of metabolic adaptation.
Project description:In vitro and animal studies have demonstrated that topical application and oral consumption of pomegranate reduces UVB-induced skin damage. We therefore investigated if oral pomegranate consumption will reduce photodamage from UVB irradiation and alter the composition of the skin microbiota in a randomized controlled, parallel, three-arm, open label study. Seventy-four female participants (30-45 years) with Fitzpatrick skin type II-IV were randomly assigned (1:1:1) to 1000?mg of pomegranate extract (PomX), 8?oz of pomegranate juice (PomJ) or placebo for 12 weeks. Minimal erythema dose (MED) and melanin index were determined using a cutometer (mexameter probe). Skin microbiota was determined using 16S rRNA sequencing. The MED was significantly increased in the PomX and PomJ group compared to placebo. There was no significant difference on phylum, but on family and genus level bacterial composition of skin samples collected at baseline and after 12 week intervention showed significant differences between PomJ, PomX and placebo. Members of the Methylobacteriaceae family contain pigments absorbing UV irradiation and might contribute to UVB skin protection. However, we were not able to establish a direct correlation between increased MED and bacterial abundance. In summary daily oral pomegranate consumption may lead to enhanced protection from UV photodamage.