Cactus cladodes (Opuntia humifusa) extract minimizes the effects of UV irradiation on keratinocytes and hairless mice

Kyungmi Park, Hyeon Son Choi, Yang Hee Hong, Eun Young Jung, Hyung Joo Suh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Cactus cladodes [Opuntia humifusa (Raf.) Raf. (Cactaceae)] is one of the long been used as a folk medicine for skin disorders. Objective: This study investigated the skincare potential of cactus cladodes extract (OHE), including its ability to regulate ultraviolet B (UVB)-induced hyaluronic acid (HA) production. Materials and methods: Gene expression levels of hyaluronic acid synthases (HASs) and hyaluronidase (HYAL) were measured in UVB-irradiated HaCaT cells with OHE treatment (10, 25, 50, 100 µg/mL) by realtime polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The HA content was analyzed in hairless mice (SKH-1, male, 6 weeks old) treated with OHE for 10 weeks by using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Haematoxylin and eosin (H&E) and immunohistological staining were performed to examine epidermal thickness and levels of CD44 and hyaluronic acid-binding protein (HABP). Results: HA synthases (HAS,1 HAS2, HAS3) mRNA levels were increased by 1.9-, 2.2- and 1.6-fold, respectively, with OHE treatment (100 µg/mL), while UVB-induced increase of hyaluronidase mRNA significantly decreased by 35%. HA content in animal was decreased from 42.9 to 27.1 ng/mL by OHE treatment. HAS mRNA levels were decreased by 39%, but HYAL mRNA was increased by 50% in OHE group. CD44 and HABP levels, which were greatly increased by UVB-irradiation, were reduced by 64 and 60%, respectively. Epidermal thickness, transepidermal water loss (TEWL), and erythema formation was also decreased by 45 (45.7 to 24.2 µm), 48 (48.8 to 25 g/h/m2) and 33%, respectively. Conclusion: OHE protects skin from UVB-induced skin degeneration in HaCaT cells and hairless mice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1032-1040
Number of pages9
JournalPharmaceutical biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • CD44
  • Ha-binding protein
  • Hacat cell
  • Hyaluronic acid synthase
  • Hyaluronidase
  • SKH-1 mice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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