蓮霧生長過程，會去除過多的蓮霧花來維持蓮霧的品質。現今蓮霧花相關的研究極少，若能開發出蓮霧花的新功效，即能將廢棄之蓮霧花再利用，更能提升蓮霧果樹在台灣的經濟地位。另合作企業欲尋求開發一台灣本土天然、低成本、安全且有效的化妝品原料，加上先前研究認為蓮霧花在皮膚保護上應深具潛力。因此本計劃欲開發蓮霧花的抗色素沉著與防皺抗老化功效。計畫中利用蓮霧花酒精萃取物進行抗氧化成份分析後，進一步以細胞模式研究抗紫外線傷害試驗。觀察紫外線誘發膠原蛋白降解後，蓮霧花是否能抑制紫外線傷害正常皮膚纖維母細胞，是否因其抗氧化特性清除了紫外線產生的自由基，使自由基誘發的MMP-1 生成量降低，進而抑制膠原蛋白的分解。我們期望能提供正確科學研究數據給合作之廠商，以利蓮霧花皮膚保護產品之開發(廠商擬推出防皺抗老化面膜與美白保養品)。透過此合作計畫的執行，提升合作廠商的產業競爭力與研發能力。參與本計劃的研究團隊成員同時可獲得專案研究的實務經驗。 Ultraviolet A (UVA) irradiation contributes to major changes in skin aging as a result of the downregulation of procollagen I content. This process is likely mediated by matrix metalloproteinases. Identification of phytonutrients that can increase the amount of collagen synthesis may improve antiaging therapy. Wax apple is one of important economic crops in in Asia, whereas the phytoprotective effect of wax apples against UV light-induced skin aging
remained mostly uncertain. In the present study, we investigated the antioxidant capacity and protective effects against UVA damage from alcoholic extract of the wax apple flowers (AEWA) in human dermal fibroblasts Hs68 cells. We then explored the improving effects of AEWA on UVA-induced decrement of procollagen I and investigated the probable mechanism underlying those effects. Hs68 cells were treated with AEWA for the indicated times followed by UVA irradiation. The antioxidant ability of AEWA was evaluated by various in vitro assessments. The phytoprotective effect of AEWA on UVA-induced procollagen downregulation and metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) expression/activity were examined using western blotting and gelatin zymography. The malondialdehyde (MDA) accumulation measured by method of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS). Levels of NF B and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1) were assayed by ELISA. In vitro assessment revealed that AEWA exhibited remarkable anti-oxidative potential, including scavenging capacity for oxidative radicals, inhibitory effect on lipid peroxidation, and chelating ability of ferrous ion. Chronic exposure of UVA irradiation to Hs68 cells with AEWA prevented the UVA-induced cell death and the downregulation of procollagen I in a dose-dependent manner. Meanwhile, this AEWA treatment also ameliorated the UVA-induced the upregulation/activation of matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1), the production of malondialdehyde (MDA), and the intracellular NFB levels. Furthermore, AEWA administration restored and increased the UVA-suppressed activity of TIMP-1, one of MMP inhibitors. Our findings highlighted the phytoprotective effect of AEWA against UV lightinduced skin aging and may provide an alternative option in cosmetic and pharmaceutical applications in anti-aging skin care.