The deleterious effects induced by an acute exposure of human skin to common air pollutants are prevented by extracts of Deschampsia antarctica.
Abstract: The homeostatic and regenerative potential of the skin is critically impaired by an increasing accumulation of air pollutants in human ecosystems. These toxic compounds are frequently implicated in pathological processes such as premature cutaneous ageing, altered pigmentation and cancer. In this scenario, innovative strategies are required to tackle the effects of severe air pollution on skin function. Here we have used a Human Skin Organotypic Culture (HSOC) model to characterize the deleterious effects of an acute topic exposure of human skin to moderately high concentrations of common ambient pollutants, including As, Cd, Cr, dioxins and tobacco smoke. All these toxic compunds inflict severe damage in the tissue, activating the AHR-mediated response to xenobiotics. We have further evaluated the potential of an aqueous leaf extract of the polyextremophile plant Deschampsia antarctica (Edafence) to protect human skin against the acute exposure to toxic pollutants. Our results indicate that pre-treatment of HSOC samples with this aqueous extract conuterbalances the deleterious effects of the exposure to toxic comunds and triggers the activation of key genes invoved in the redox system and in the pro-inflammatory/wound healing response in the skin, suggesting that this natural compound might be effectively used in vivo to protect human skin routinely in different daily conditions.
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