Effect of dihydrocaffeic acid on UV irradiation of human keratinocyte HaCaT cells

Laure Poquet, Michael N. Clifford, Gary Williamson

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Dihydrocaffeic acid, a dietary constituent and a microbial metabolite of flavonoids, is an antioxidant, but few biological effects have been examined. After its production by microflora in the colon, dihydrocaffeic acid is absorbed and found in plasma as a combination of free and metabolized forms. Excess solar UV radiation provokes damage and initiates immune response and inflammation in skin, sometimes leading to cancer. Dihydrocaffeic acid reduced the cytotoxicity and pro-inflammatory cytokine production (interleukin-6 and -8) in HaCaT cells, a keratinocyte model, following UV radiation. The effect of dihydrocaffeic acid may result from a combination of direct radical scavenging of the reactive oxygen species formed or reinforcement of the antioxidant potential of the keratinocytes, as well as a direct interference with the pathway involved in cytokine stimulation. The minimum structure required for such an effect appears to consist of a propionate side chain attached to a catechol moiety, as indicated by the efficacy of caffeic acid, but not of the methyl and glucuronide conjugates of dihydrocaffeic acid. The data obtained suggest that dihydrocaffeic acid is a potential candidate for photo-protection by interfering with the events initiated after UV exposure in keratinocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-204
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Cytokine
  • Ferulic acid
  • HaCaT cells
  • Inflammation
  • Keratinocytes
  • Phenolic acids
  • UV
  • UV irradiation

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