Dietary Lycopene Protects SKH-1 Mice Against Ultraviolet B-Induced Photocarcinogenesis

Xueyan Zhou, Karen E. Burke, Yongyin Wang, Huachen Wei

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7 Scopus citations


Lycopene, an acyclic hydrocarbon, non-provitamin A carotenoid, is a potent antioxidant with well-documented anticancer properties. In this study, we investigated the effects of dietary lycopene on sub-acute and chronic ultraviolet B (UVB)-induced skin carcinogenesis in SKH-1 mice. Groups of three mice were fed with a nonsupplemented or 1% lycopene diet for two weeks before and throughout two weeks of UVB irradiation (30 mJ/cm2 UVB, thrice weekly). The lycopene diet significantly reduced the formation of pyrimidine dimers (PDs) and the expression of proliferative cellular nuclear antigen (PCNA) in UVB-irradiated skin. Then groups of eighteen mice were each fed with control diet or with a 0.25% or 1% (w/w) lycopene-supplemented diet for 40 weeks, beginning one week before UVB irradiation (30 mJ/cm2 UVB, thrice weekly for 23 weeks) and continuing after termination of UVB. Lycopene significantly inhibited the onset and decreased the incidence, multiplicity, and tumor weights of UVB-induced skin tumors. UVB-induced epidermal hyperplasia and PCNA expression were still remarkably inhibited by dietary lycopene, even up to 40 weeks. No significant difference in protection was detected between the low and high concentrations of lycopene. These results demonstrate that dietary lycopene does protect against UVB-induced epidermal hyperplasia and carcinogenesis. J Drugs Dermatol. 2019;18(12):1244-1254.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1244-1254
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Drugs in Dermatology
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019


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