Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 8214631, 15 pages
Research Article

The Effect of Lycopene Preexposure on UV-B-Irradiated Human Keratinocytes

1Instituto de Investigação do Medicamento (iMed.ULisboa), Faculdade de Farmácia, Universidade de Lisboa, Avenida Professor Gama Pinto, 1649-003 Lisboa, Portugal
2Departamento de Biologia, Laboratório de Biotecnologia e Citómica, CESAM, Universidade de Aveiro, Campus Universitário de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal

Received 20 May 2015; Revised 3 July 2015; Accepted 6 July 2015

Academic Editor: Luciano Saso

Copyright © 2016 Andreia Ascenso 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.


Lycopene has been reported as the antioxidant most quickly depleted in skin upon UV irradiation, and thus it might play a protective role. Our goal was to investigate the effects of preexposure to lycopene on UV-B-irradiated skin cells. Cells were exposed for 24 h to 10 M lycopene, and subsequently irradiated and left to recover for another 24 h period. Thereafter, several parameters were analyzed by FCM and RT-PCR: genotoxicity/clastogenicity by assessing the cell cycle distribution; apoptosis by performing the Annexin-V assay and analyzing gene expression of apoptosis biomarkers; and oxidative stress by ROS quantification. Lycopene did not significantly affect the profile of apoptotic, necrotic and viable cells in nonirradiated cells neither showed cytostatic effects. However, irradiated cells previously treated with lycopene showed an increase in both dead and viable subpopulations compared to nonexposed irradiated cells. In irradiated cells, lycopene preexposure resulted in overexpression of BAX gene compared to nonexposed irradiated cells. This was accompanied by a cell cycle delay at S-phase transition and consequent decrease of cells in G0/G1 phase. Thus, lycopene seems to play a corrective role in irradiated cells depending on the level of photodamage. Thus, our findings may have implications for the management of skin cancer.