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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 867494, 9 pages
Research Article

Melanogenesis Inhibitor(s) from Phyla nodiflora Extract

1Department of Fragrance and Cosmetic Science, College of Pharmacy, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 80708, Taiwan
2Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10063, Taiwan
3Department of Nursing, Division of Basic Medical Sciences, Chronic Diseases and Health Promotion Research Center, Chang Gung Institute of Technology, Chia-Yi 61363, Taiwan

Received 9 July 2012; Revised 7 September 2012; Accepted 14 October 2012

Academic Editor: R. Govindarajan

Copyright © 2012 Feng-Lin Yen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Overexpression of tyrosinase can cause excessive production of melanin and lead to hyperpigmentation disorders, including melasma and freckles. Recently, agents obtained from plants are being used as alternative medicines to downregulate tyrosinase synthesis and decrease melanin production. Phyla nodiflora Greene (Verbenaceae) is used as a folk medicine in Taiwanese for treating and preventing inflammatory diseases such as hepatitis and dermatitis. However, the antimelanogenesis activity and molecular biological mechanism underlying the activity of the methanolic extract of P. nodiflora (PNM) have not been investigated to date. Our results showed that PNM treatment was not cytotoxic and significantly reduced the cellular melanin content and tyrosinase activity in a dose-dependent manner ( ). Further, PNM exhibited a significant antimelanogenesis effect ( ) by reducing the levels of phospho-cAMP response element-binding protein and microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF), inhibiting the synthesis of tyrosinase, tyrosinase-related protein-1 (TRP-1), and TRP-2, and decreasing the cellular melanin content. Moreover, PNM significantly activated the phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinases, including phospho-extracellular signal-regulated kinase, c-Jun N-terminal kinase, and phospho-p38, and inhibited the synthesis of MITF, thus decreasing melanogenesis. These properties suggest that PNM could be used as a clinical and cosmetic skin-whitening agent to cure and/or prevent hyperpigmentation.