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Biological Research

versión impresa ISSN 0716-9760


ARAMWIT, Pornanong; LUPLERTLOP, Natthanej; KANJANAPRUTHIPONG, Tapanee  y  AMPAWONG, Sumate. Effect of urea-extracted sericin on melanogenesis: potential applications in post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Biol. Res. [online]. 2018, vol.51, 54.  Epub 12-Jun-2019. ISSN 0716-9760.


Hyperpigmentation disorders such as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation are major concerns not only in light-skinned people but also in Asian populations with darker skin. The anti-tyrosinase and immunomodulatory effects of sericin have been known for decades. However, the therapeutic effects of sericin on hyperpigmentation disorders have not been well documented.


In this study, we used an in vitro model to study the anti-tyrosinase, tolerogenic, and anti-melanogenic effects of sericin on Staphylococcus aureus peptidoglycan (PEG)-stimulated melanocytes, dendritic cells (DCs), and artificial skin (MelanoDerm™). Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, conventional and immunolabeled electron microscopy, and histopathological studies were performed.


The results revealed that urea-extracted sericin has strong anti-tyrosinase properties as shown by a reduction of tyrosinase activity in melanin pigments both 48 h and 10 days after allergic induction with PEG. Anti-inflammatory cytokines including interleukin (IL)-4, IL-10, and transforming growth factor-p were upregulated upon sericin treatment (10, 20, and 50 μg/mL), whereas production of allergic chemokines, CCL8 and CCL18, by DCs was diminished 48 h after allergic induction with PEG. Moreover, sericin lowered the expression of micropthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF), a marker of melanogenesis regulation, in melanocytes and keratinocytes, which contributed to the reduction of melanin size and the magnitude of melanin deposition. However, sericin had no effect on melanin transport between melanocytes and keratinocytes, as demonstrated by a high retention of cytoskeletal components.


In summary, sericin suppresses melanogenesis by inhibition of tyrosinase activity, reduction of inflammation and allergy, and modulation of MITF function.

Palabras clave : Antityrosinase; Melanogenesis; MITF; Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation; Sericin.

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