Dietary supplementation with sulforaphane ameliorates skin aging through activation of the Keap1-Nrf2 pathway

Marija Petkovic, Ermelindo Leal, Ines Alves, Chanda Bose, Philip T Palade, Preeti Singh, Sanjay Awasthi, Elisabet Børsheim, Louise Torp Dalgaard, Sharda P Singh*, Eugenia Carvalho*

*Corresponding author

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


Visible impairments in skin appearance, as well as a subtle decline in its functionality at the molecular level, are hallmarks of skin aging. Activation of the nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (Nrf2)-pathway, which is important in controlling inflammation and oxidative stress that occur during aging, can be triggered by sulforaphane (SFN), an isothiocyanate found in plants from the Brassicaceae family. This study aimed to assess the effects of SFN intake on age-related skin alterations. Male C57BL6 young (2 months) and old (21 months) mice were treated for 3 months with SFN diet (442.5 mg per kg) or control diet. The antioxidant capacities of the skin were increased in old SFN-treated animals as measured by mRNA levels of Nrf2 (p<0.001) and its target genes NQO1 (p<0.001) and HO1 (p<0.001). Protein expression for Nrf2 was also increased in old SFN fed animals (p<0.01), but not the protein expression of NQO1 or HO1. Additionally, ROS and MMP9 protein levels were significantly decreased (p<0.05) in old SFN fed animals. Histopathological analysis confirmed that there was no difference in epidermal thickness in old, when compared to young, SFN treated animals, while the dermal layer thickness was lower in old vs. young, treated animals (p<0.05). Moreover, collagen deposition was improved with SFN treatment in young (p<0.05) and structurally significantly improved in the old mice (p<0.001). SFN dietary supplementation therefore ameliorates skin aging through activation of the Nrf2-pathway.
TidsskriftThe Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry
StatusUdgivet - dec. 2021


  • Cruciferous vegetables
  • sulforaphane
  • Nrf2 pathway
  • skin aging
  • oxidative stress

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