Journal List > J Nutr Health > v.49(3) > 1081435

J Nutr Health. 2016 Jun;49(3):135-143. Korean.
Published online June 30, 2016.
© 2016 The Korean Nutrition Society
Suppressive effects of ethanol extract of Aralia elata on UVB-induced oxidative stress in human keratinocytes
Chung Shil Kwak, and Jiwon Yang
Institute on Aging, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul 03080, Korea.

To whom correspondence should be addressed. tel: +82-2-740-8506, Email:
Received May 16, 2016; Revised June 07, 2016; Accepted June 15, 2016.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



Ultraviolet (UV)-induced oxidative stress contributes to several adverse biological effects on skin. Many phenolic phytochemicals have been shown to have antioxidant properties and protect skin cells from UV-induced oxidative damage. In this study, we investigated whether or not Aralia elata (AE) has a protective effect against UVB-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS), ultimately leading to photoaging.


Phenolic content of dried AE and antioxidant properties of AE extract in 70% ethanol weredetermined by measuring DPPH and ABTS radical scavenging activities and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP). The effect of AE extract on cellular ROS generation and expression levels of oxidative stress-response proteins such as superoxide dismutase (SOD)-1, catalase, nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor (Nrf)-2,and heme oxygenase (HO)-1 in UVB-irradiated (75 mJ/cm2) human keratinocytes (HaCaT) were further determined by 2'-7'-dichlorofluoresceine diacetate assay and Western blotting, respectively.


The total phenolic and flavonoid contents of dried AE were 20.15 mg tannic acid/g and 18.75 mg rutin/g, respectively. The IC50 of AE extract against DPPH radical was 98.5 µg/mL, and ABTS radical scavenging activity and FRAP upon treatment with 1,000 µg/mL of AE extract were 41.8 µg ascorbic acid (AA) eq./mL and 29.7 µg AA eq./mL,m respectively. Pretreatment with AE extract significantly reduced (p < 0.05) ROS generation compared to that in UVB-irradiated control HaCaT cells. Pretreatment with AE extract reversed reduction of Nrf-2 and SOD-1 protein expression and induction of HO-1 protein expression caused by UVB exposure in HaCaT cells, whereas it did not affect catalase expression.


AE extract in 70% ethanol demonstrated a protective effect against UVB-induced oxidative stress and decreased expression of Nrf-2 and SOD-1 in human keratinocytes. These findings suggest that AE ethanol extract might have potential as a natural resource for a skin antiphotoaging product in the food and cosmetic industry.

Keywords: Aralia elata; reactive oxygen species; superoxide dismuatase; nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor-2; ultra violet B


Fig. 1
Effect of AE treatment on cell viability and UVB-induced ROS generation in HaCaT cells. (A) Cell viability at 24 h treatment of AE extract in HaCaT (B) ROS generation and cell viability at 30 min after UVB (75 mJ/cm2) irradiation to the cells pretreated with AE extract for 24 h. AE: 70% ethanol extract of Aralia elata, AA: ascorbic acid, positive control. Means sharing the same alphabet in superscripts on the bar are not significantly different at each treated concentration at p < 0.05 by ANOVA and Duncan's multiple range test.
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Fig. 2
Effect of AE treatment on the protein levels of oxidative stress-related enzymes in UVB-irradiated HaCaT cells. UVB (75 mJ/cm2) was irradiated to the cells pretreated with AE extract for 24 h. At further 24 h incubation, the cells were harvested and the protein levels of Nrf-2, catalase, HO-1 and SOD-1 were determined by Western blotting.
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Table 1
The content of total phenolics and flavonoids in Alalia elata
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Table 2
DPPH radical scavenging activity of AE
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Table 3
ABTS radical scavenging activity and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) of AE
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This study was supported by a grant of the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning through the National Research Foundation, Republic of Korea (NRF-2014R1A2A2A01-007435).

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