Greenteahaus:  The Green Tea Reference Library

Green tea protection of skin from UV light damage and aging

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(1) Vayalil PK, Mittal A, Hara Y, Elmets CA, Katiyar SK. Green tea polyphenols prevent ultraviolet light-induced oxidative damage and matrix metalloproteinases expression in mouse skin. J Invest Dermatol. 2004 Jun;122(6):1480-7.

Chronic exposure of solar ultraviolet (UV) light to human skin results in photoaging. UV-induced oxidative damage and induction of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) have been implicated in this process. Because polyphenols from green tea (GTP) prevent other cutaneous adverse effects of UV radiation we hypothesized that UV irradiation-induced oxidative damage and induction of MMP might be prevented in vivo in mouse skin by oral administration of GTP. GTP was administered in drinking water (0.2%, wt/vol) to SKH-1 hairless mice, which were then exposed to multiple doses of UVB (90 mJ per cm2, for 2 mo on alternate days) following in vivo photoaging animal protocol. Treatment of GTP resulted in inhibition of UVB-induced protein oxidation in vivo in mouse skin, a hallmark of photoaging, when analyzed biochemically, by immunoblotting, and immunohistochemistry. GTP treatment also inhibited UVB-induced protein oxidation in vitro in human skin fibroblast HS68 cells, which supports in vivo observations. Moreover, oral administration of GTP also resulted in inhibition of UVB-induced expression of matrix degrading MMP, such as MMP-2 (67%), MMP-3 (63%), MMP-7 (62%), and MMP-9 (60%) in hairless mouse skin. These data suggest that GTP as a dietary supplement could be useful to attenuate solar UVB light-induced premature skin aging.

(2) Agarwal R, Katiyar SK, Khan SG, Mukhtar H. Protection against ultraviolet B radiation-induced effects in the skin of SKH-1 hairless mice by a polyphenolic fraction isolated from green tea. Photochem Photobiol. 1993 Nov;58(5):695-700.

In prior studies we and others have shown that oral feeding of a polyphenolic fraction isolated from green tea (GTP) or water extract of green tea affords protection against ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation-induced carcinogenesis in SKH-1 hairless mice (Wang et al., Carcinogenesis 12, 1527-1530, 1991). It is known that exposure of murine skin to UVB radiation results in cutaneous edema, depletion of the antioxidant-defense system and induction of ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) and cyclooxygenase activities. In this study we assessed the protective effect of GTP on these UVB radiation-caused changes in murine skin. Oral feeding of 0.2% GTP (wt/vol) as the sole source of drinking water for 30 days to SKH-1 hairless mice followed by irradiation with UVB (900 mJ/cm2) resulted in significant protection against UVB radiation-caused cutaneous edema (P < 0.0005) and depletion of the antioxidant-defense system in epidermis (P < 0.01-0.02). The oral feeding of GTP also resulted in significant protection against UVB radiation-caused induction of epidermal ODC (P < 0.005-0.01) and cyclooxygenase activities (P < 0.0001) in a time-dependent manner. Our data indicate that the inhibition of UVB radiation-caused changes in these markers of tumor promotion in murine skin by GTP may be one of the possible mechanisms of chemopreventive effects associated with green tea against UVB-induced tumorigenesis. The results of this study suggest that green tea, specifically polyphenols present therein, may be useful against inflammatory responses associated with the exposure of skin to solar radiation.

(3) Katiyar SK. Skin photoprotection by green tea: antioxidant and immunomodulatory effects. Curr Drug Targets Immune Endocr Metabol Disord. 2003 Sep;3(3):234-42.

Because of a characteristic aroma and health benefits, green tea is consumed worldwide as a popular beverage. The epicatechin derivatives, commonly called polyphenols, present in green tea possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties. The major and most highly chemopreventive constituent in green tea responsible for the biochemical or pharmacological effects is (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). Epidemiological, clinical and biological studies have implicated that solar ultraviolet (UV) light is a complete carcinogen and repeated exposure can lead to the development of various skin disorders including melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancers. We and others have shown that topical treatment or oral consumption of green tea polyphenols (GTP) inhibit chemical carcinogen- or UV radiation-induced skin carcinogenesis in different laboratory animal models. Topical treatment of GTP and EGCG or oral consumption of GTP resulted in prevention of UVB-induced inflammatory responses, immunosuppression and oxidative stress, which are the biomarkers of several skin disease states. Topical application of GTP and EGCG prior to exposure of UVB protects against UVB-induced local as well as systemic immune suppression in laboratory animals, which was associated with the inhibition of UVB-induced infiltration of inflammatory leukocytes. Prevention of UVB-induced suppression of immune responses by EGCG was also associated with the reduction in immunosuppressive cytokine interleukin (IL)-10 production at UV irradiated skin and draining lymph nodes, whereas IL-12 production was significantly enhanced in draining lymph nodes. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of green tea were also observed in human skin. Treatment of EGCG to human skin resulted in the inhibition of UVB-induced erythema, oxidative stress and infiltration of inflammatory leukocytes. We also showed that treatment of GTP to human skin prevents UVB-induced cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers formation, which are considered to be mediators of UVB-induced immune suppression and skin cancer induction. The in vitro and in vivo animal and human studies suggest that green tea polyphenols are photoprotective in nature, and can be used as pharmacological agents for the prevention of solar UVB light-induced skin disorders including photoaging, melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancers after more clinical trials in humans.

(4) Wang ZY, Agarwal R, Bickers DR, Mukhtar H. Protection against ultraviolet B radiation-induced photocarcinogenesis in hairless mice by green tea polyphenols. Carcinogenesis. 1991 Aug;12(8):1527-30.

Our recent studies have shown that polyphenols present in green tea (GTP) possess significant antigenotoxic activity and afford protection against polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-induced skin tumor initiation in mice. In this study we assessed the effect of oral feeding and topical application of GTP on ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation-induced skin carcinogenesis in female SKH-1 hairless mice. Chronic oral feeding of GTP (0.1%, w/v) in drinking water resulted in significantly (P less than 0.01) lower tumor yield (percent of animals with tumors and number of tumors per mouse) and extended TDT50 (P less than 0.05), as compared to animals receiving normal drinking water. Topical application of GTP before UVB irradiation also afforded protection against photocarcinogenesis; however, the protective response was lower than that observed by oral feeding of GTP in drinking water. These results, in conjunction with our prior publications, suggest that consumption of green tea may reduce the risk of some forms of human cancer induced by both physical and chemical environmental carcinogens.

(5) Conney AH, Wang ZY, Huang MT, Ho CT, Yang CS. Inhibitory effect of green tea on tumorigenesis by chemicals and ultraviolet light. Prev Med. 1992 May;21(3):361-9.

Topical application of a green tea polyphenol fraction inhibited 12-O-tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13-acetate-induced tumor promotion in CD-1 mice previously initiated with 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA). Oral administration of a green tea infusion as the sole source of liquid sustenance to SKH-1 mice inhibited ultraviolet B light (UVB)-induced sunburn lesions, UVB-induced initiation of skin tumors, UVB-induced formation of skin tumors in mice previously initiated with DMBA, and nitrosodiethylamine-induced forestomach and lung tumors in A/J mice. In addition to inhibiting UVB-induced formation of skin tumors in DMBA-initiated mice, oral administration of green tea markedly decreased tumor size.


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