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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 983609, 10 pages
Research Article

Empetrum nigrum var. japonicum Extract Suppresses Ultraviolet B-Induced Cell Damage via Absorption of Radiation and Inhibition of Oxidative Stress

1School of Medicine and Institute for Nuclear Science and Technology, Jeju National University, Jeju 690-756, Republic of Korea
2Halla Arboretum, Jeju 690-121, Republic of Korea
3Biospectrum Life Science Institute, Seongnam 442-13, Republic of Korea

Received 5 July 2012; Revised 21 December 2012; Accepted 27 December 2012

Academic Editor: Guillermo Schmeda-Hirschmann

Copyright © 2013 Ki Cheon Kim 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.


This study focused on the protective actions of Empetrum nigrum against ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation in human HaCaT keratinocytes. An ethyl acetate extract of E. nigrum (ENE) increased cell viability decreased by exposure to UVB rays. ENE also absorbed UVB radiation and scavenged UVB-induced intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) in HaCaT keratinocytes. In addition, ENE shielded HaCaT keratinocytes from damage to cellular components (e.g., peroxidation of lipids, modification of proteins, and breakage of DNA strands) following UVB irradiation. Furthermore, ENE protected against UVB-induced apoptotic cell death, as determined by a reduction in the numbers of apoptotic bodies and sub-G1 hypodiploid cells, as well as by the recovery of mitochondrial membrane potential. The results of the current study therefore suggest that ENE safeguards human keratinocytes against UVB-induced cellular damage via the absorption of UVB ray and scavenging of UVB-generated ROS.