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Anti erythematous and photoprotective activities in guinea pigs and in man of topically applied flavonoids from helichrysum italicum g. don

Anti erythematous and photoprotective activities in guinea pigs and in man of topically applied flavonoids from helichrysum italicum g. don

Acta Therapeutica 14(4): 323-346

The flowering tops of Helichrysum italicum G. Don are widely used in folk medicine for their anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties. The results of the present work demonstrate that a single topical application of crude extract of H. italicum G. Don on the sunburned skin of the guinea pig resulted in a marked decrease in UVB-induced erythema. If the drug is applied prior to irradiation, it prevents the development of UVB erythema. Experiments carried out in guinea pigs with the flavonoid fraction isolated from the crude extract indicated that the anti-erythematous and photoprotective activities H. italicum are largely due to the action of this flavonoid complex. Subsequent studies in man exposed to three times the minimal erythema dose of UVB radiation confirmed that this complex is a potent anti-eythematous agent: after a single topical application, skin redness was reduced by approximately 60-70%, and skin temperature and hyperalgesia were nearly normal. The anti-erythematous activity of the flavonoid fraction in both guinea pig and in man was maximal in the first 24 h after UVB radiation and decreased after 24-48 h; repeated applications in this time interval did not have better results than a single application. As observed in the guinea pig, topical application of the flavonoid fraction to man before exposure to UVB completely prevents the onset of the erythematous response, indicating a high filtering activity in the UVB range (sun protection factor approximately 5). Spectrophotometric studies demonstrate that this fraction possesses also strong UVA filtering capacity. Seven flavonoids (4 aglycons and 3 monoglycosides) have been isolated and characterized by UV-visible spectroscopic and mass spectrometric (EI-MS, FD-MS) analyses as apigenin, glycosyl-apigenin, luteolin, gnafalin, naringenin, glycosyl-naringenin and glycosyl-chalcone. The mechanism(s) through which H. italicum flavonoids are anti-erythematous and photoprotective and their possible applications in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic fields are discussed.

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Accession: 007023597

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