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L-Ergothioneine scavenges superoxide and singlet oxygen and suppresses TNF-α and MMP-1 expression in UV-irradiated human dermal fibroblasts

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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 (O2 ) and singlet oxygen (1O2). In cultured fibroblasts, EGT suppressed TNF-α upregulation by UVB irradiation. In addition, in fibroblasts exposed to UV-A, EGT suppressed the expression of matrix metalloproteinase 1 (MMP-1) protein by nearly 50% and reduced MMP-1 mRNA expression. From these results, we conclude that EGT scavenges reactive oxygen species generated by both type I and type II photosensitization and suppresses both TNF-α expression and MMP-1 at their transcriptional level. EGT may reduce skin anti-aging effects after UV irradiation by the scavenging of O2 and 1O2, and reducing signals for protease and inflammatory activity.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Cosmos Technical Center Co. Ltd, 3-24-3, Hasune, Itabashi-ku, Tokyo, 174-0046 Japan 2: AGI Dermatics, 205 Buffalo Avenue, Freeport, NY 11520-4709, USA

Publication date: June 1, 2005

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