The Japanese mugwort, Artemisia princeps (yomogi in Japanese), has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Skin care products containing Artemisia princeps extract (APE) are known to improve dry skin symptoms in atopic dermatitis. Atopic dry skin is associated with a marked reduction of skin barrier proteins, such as filaggrin (FLG) and loricrin (LOR). Recently, aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR), and its downstream transcription factor OVO-like 1 (OVOL1), have been shown to regulate the gene expression of FLG and LOR. The focus of this paper is to evaluate the effects of APE on the AHR/OVOL1/FLG or LOR pathway since they have remained unknown to this point. We first demonstrated that non-cytotoxic concentrations of APE significantly upregulated antioxidant enzymes, NAD(P)H dehydrogenase quinone 1 and heme oxygenase 1, in human keratinocytes. Even at these low concentrations, APE induced nuclear translocation of AHR and significantly upregulated CYP1A1 (a specific target gene for AHR activation), FLG, and LOR expression. AHR knockdown downregulated OVOL1 expression. The APE-induced upregulation of FLG and LOR was canceled in keratinocytes with AHR or OVOL1 knockdown. In conclusion, antioxidant APE is a potent phytoextract that upregulates FLG and LOR expression in an AHR/OVOL1-dependent manner and this may underpin the barrier-repairing effects of APE in treating atopic dry skin.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry