Asian Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Asian Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine

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Inhibitory activity of ethyl acetate fraction derived from Cannabis sativa L. seed on melanogenesis in B16F10 cells

Jae Kwon Kim, Hak Hyun Kim, Jaehyun Kim, Young-Seok Lim, Se-Hui Jung and Kooyeon Lee

Department of Bio-Health Convergence, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, 24341, Republic of Korea


Introduction: Compared with normal skin, hyperpigmentation is characterized by darker spots or patches. Although most hyperpigmentation is harmless, it is undesirable from an aesthetic perspective. Despite the availability of various inhibitors against hyperpigmentation, the development of novel inhibitors with improved efficacy and long-term safety remains a challenge.

OBJECTIVES: In this study, we prepared hemp seed extract and its solvent fractions, and evaluated their biological activity against free radical and melanin synthesis.

Methods: To investigate a potent inhibitory effect of hemp seed extract and its solvent fractions on melanin synthesis, intracellular melanin content and tyrosinase activity in melanoma cells were determined.

Results: Defatted hemp seed extract inhibited tyrosinase activity more efficiently and with better antioxidant activity than fat extract in vitro. Both fat and defatted extract had no significant effect on melanoma cell proliferation. The defatted extract inhibited melanogenesis in melanoma cells by inhibiting tyrosinase activity (p < 0.001). Comparative evaluation of radical scavenging and anti-tyrosinase activities of hemp seed solvent fraction showed that the ethyl acetate fraction has the highest potential for inhibition of melanogenesis. Quantitative analysis of melanin content and tyrosinase activity in melanoma cells following treatment with solvent fractions suggested the presence of biologically active ingredients in the ethyl acetate fraction, which suppressed melanogenesis (p < 0.001). Further, the treatment of melanoma cells with ethyl acetate fraction induced dose-dependent inhibition of melanin synthesis and tyrosinase activation.

Conclusion: Thus, natural compounds present in the ethyl acetate fraction of defatted hemp seed extract improve the efficacy of melanogenesis inhibition with little toxicity, suggesting a potential functional role as a cosmetic whitening agent.

hemp seed, melanogenesis, tyrosinase activity, fractionation
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