Agastache rugosa Kuntze Attenuates UVB-Induced Photoaging in Hairless Mice through the Regulation of MAPK/AP-1 and TGF-β/ Smad Pathways

Mann Seok Yun, Changhee Kim, Jae Kwan Hwang

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22 Citations (Scopus)


Chronic exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, regarded as a major cause of extrinsic aging or photoaging characterized by wrinkle formation and skin dehydration, exerts adverse effects on skin by causing the overproduction of reactive oxygen species. Agastache rugosa Kuntze, known as Korean mint, possesses a wide spectrum of biological properties including anti-oxidation, anti-inflammation, and anti-atherosclerosis. Previous studies have reported that A. rugosa protected human keratinocytes against UVB irradiation by restoring the anti-oxidant defense system. However, the anti-photoaging effect of A. rugosa extract (ARE) in animal models has not yet been evaluated. ARE was orally administered to hairless mice at doses of 100 or 250 mg/kg/day along with UVB exposure for 12 weeks. ARE histologically improved UVB-induced wrinkle formation, epidermal thickening, erythema, and hyperpigmentation. In addition, ARE recovered skin moisture by improving skin hydration and transepidermal water loss (TEWL). Along with this, ARE increased hyaluronic acid levels by upregulating HA synthase genes. ARE markedly increased the density of collagen and the amounts of hydroxypoline via two pathways. First, ARE significantly downregulated the mRNA expression of matrix metalloproteinases responsible for collagen degradation by inactivating the mitogen-activated protein kinase/activator protein 1 pathway. Second, ARE stimulated the transforming growth factor beta/Smad signaling, consequently raising the mRNA levels of collagen-related genes. In addition, ARE not only increased the mRNA expression of antioxidant enzymes but also decreased inflammatory cytokines by blocking the protein expression of nuclear factor kappa B. Collectively, our findings suggest that A. rugosa may be a potential preventive and therapeutic agent for photoaging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1349-1360
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of microbiology and biotechnology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright© 2019 by The Korean Society for Microbiology and Biotechnology

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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