Korean J Dermatol.  2000 Oct;38(10):1303-1308.

Antimelanogenic effects of Arbutin

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Dermatology, College of Medicine, Kyunghee University, Seoul, Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Arbutin is a glycosylated hydroquinone found at high concentration in certain plants capable of surviving extreme and sustained dehydration. It has been suggested as an inhibitory compound of melanogenesis. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of arbutin on melanogenesis in cultured human melanocytes and to evaluate the effectiveness of arbutin in patients with melasma. METHODS: I. In vitro study:we examine the cell number, SRB assay, tyrosinase activity, and melanin contents of cultured human melanocytes in control(absence of arbutin) and experimental groups (presence of 10(-5) M, 10(-4) M, and 10(-3) M arbutin). II. In vivo study:6 patients with melasma applied a 3 % arbutin solution twice daily for 8 weeks. Clinical response to treatment was evaluated by patients' subjective assessment and MASI(Melasma Area and Severity Index) score after 8 weeks of treatment. RESULTS: I. In vitro study 1. The number of melanocytes was decreased in groups treated with 10(-5) M, 10(-4) M, 10(-3) M arbutin for 2 days and 10(-4) M, 10(-3) M arbutin for 7 days. 2. On SRB assay, the proliferation of melanocytes was decreased in groups treated with 10(-5) M, 10(-4) M, 10(-3) M arbutin for 2 days and for 7 days. 3. Tyrosinase activity was decreased in groups treated wtih 10(-4) M, 10(-3) M arbutin for 2 days and 10(-5) M, 10(-4) M, 10(-3) M arbutin for 7 days. 4. The melanin contents were decreased in group treated with 10(-3) M arbutin for 7 days. II. In vivo study 1. On patients'subjective assessment, one showed moderate improvement, one showed mild improvement, and the other four showed no change. 2. On MASI score, there was less than 10% improvement in all 6 patients. 3. Side effects were not found in all 6 patients. CONCLUSION: Although arbutin showed an inhibitory effect on cell proliferation, tyrosinase activity, and melanin synthesis in cultured human melanocytes, there was no significant effect of depigmentation in the patients with melasma.

Keyword

Arbutin; Melanogenesis

MeSH Terms

Arbutin*
Cell Count
Cell Proliferation
Dehydration
Humans
Melanins
Melanocytes
Melanosis
Monophenol Monooxygenase
Arbutin
Melanins
Monophenol Monooxygenase
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