Objective: To determine the effect of extracts from Phyllanthus acidus (P. acidus) (L.) Skeels and Rhinacanthus nasutus (R. nasutus) (L.) Kurz leaves on melanogenesis and the underlying mechanism in normal human epidermal melanocytes (NHEM) and a reconstitutive skin model. Methods: NHEM and a reconstitutive skin model were stimulated with ethanol extracts of P. acidus (L.) Skeels and R. nasutus (L.) Kurz leaves. mRNA expression of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF), tyrosinase (TYR), tyrosinase-related protein 1 (TYRP1) and dopachrome tautomerase (DCT) were examined by real-time PCR. The melanin content in NHEM was also measured. Moreover, protein levels of tyrosinase were determined using western blot analysis. Results: In NHEM and the reconstitutive skin model, ethanol extracts from P. acidus (at 12.5 and 25.0 μg/mL) and R. nasutus (at 6.25 and 12.50 μg/mL) significantly diminished mRNA expression of MITF, TYR, TYRP1 and DCT in a concentration-dependent manner. P. acidus and R. nasutus extracts also reduced the amount of melanin in α-MSH-stimulated NHEM. Moreover, P. acidus and R. nasutus extracts markedly suppressed tyrosinase at the translational level in the reconstitutive skin model. Conclusions: P. acidus and R. nasutus extracts significantly reduced melanogenesis in NHEM and the reconstitutive skin model, suggesting that P. acidus and R. nasutus extracts can inhibit melanin synthesis through downregulation of MITF, TYR, TYRP1 and DCT. Therefore, the ethanol extracts of P. acidus and R. nasutus contain compounds that have the potential for development as a skin lightening agent for the treatment of hyperpigmentation disorder or melasma.
- Phyllanthus acidus (L.) Skeels
- Rhinacanthus nasutus (L.) Kurz
ASJC Scopus subject areas