Exposure to solar ultraviolet B (UV-B) is a known causative factor for many skin complications such as wrinkles, black spots, shedding and inflammation. Within the wavelengths 280‑320 nm, UV-B can penetrate to the epidermal level. This investigation aimed to test whether extracts from the tropical abalone [Haliotis asinina (H. asinina)] mucus-secreting tissues, the hypobranchial gland (HBG) and gills, were able to attenuate the inflammatory process, using the human keratinocyte HaCaT cell line. Cytotoxicity of abalone tissue extracts was determined using an AlamarBlue viability assay. Results showed that HaCaT cells could survive when incubated in crude HBG and gill extracts at concentrations between <11.8 and <16.9 µg/ml, respectively. Subsequently, cell viability was compared between cultured HaCaT cells exposed to serial doses of UV-B from 1 to 11 (x10) mJ/cm2 and containing 4 different concentrations of abalone extract from both the HBG and gill (0, 0.1, 2.5, 5 µg/ml). A significant increase in cell viability was observed (P<0.001) following treatment with 2.5 and 5 µg/ml extract. Without extract, cell viability was significantly reduced upon exposure to UV-B at 4 mJ/cm2. Three morphological changes were observed in HaCaT cells following UV-B exposure, including i) condensation of cytoplasm; ii) shrunken cells and plasma membrane bubbling; and iii) condensation of chromatin material. A calcein AM‑propidium iodide live‑dead assay showed that cells could survive cytoplasmic condensation, yet cell death occurred when damage also included membrane bubbling and chromatin changes. Western blot analysis of HaCaT cell COX‑2, p38, phospho‑p38, SPK/JNK and phospho‑SPK/JNK following exposure to >2.5 µg/ml extract showed a significant decrease in intensity for COX‑2, phospho‑p38 and phospho‑SPK/JNK. The present study demonstrated that abalone extracts from the HGB and gill can attenuate inflammatory proteins triggered by UV-B. Hence, the contents of abalone extract, including cellmetabolites and peptides, may provide new agents for skin anti‑inflammation, preventing damage due to UV-B.
International Journal of Molecular Medicine / Vol. Article in press