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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 724314, 8 pages
Research Article

Extracts of Artocarpus communis Decrease -Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone-Induced Melanogenesis through Activation of ERK and JNK Signaling Pathways

1Department of Fragrance and Cosmetic Science, College of Pharmacy, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 80708, Taiwan
2Department of Nursing, Division of Basic Medical Sciences, Research Center for Industry of Human Ecology, Chang Gung University of Science and Technology, Taoyuan 333, Taiwan
3Chronic Diseases and Health Promotion Research Center, Chang Gung University of Science and Technology, Chiayi City 61363, Taiwan

Received 2 November 2013; Accepted 8 January 2014; Published 5 March 2014

Academic Editors: M. Ichihashi and G. K. Menon

Copyright © 2014 Yi-Tzu Fu 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.


Artocarpus communis is an agricultural plant that is also used in folk medicine to prevent skin diseases, including acne and dermatitis. Extracts of A. communis have been used to effectively inhibit melanogenesis; however, the antimelanogenesis mechanism of these extracts has not yet been investigated. The present study utilized a cell-free tyrosinase assay as well as α-melanocyte stimulating hormone- (-MSH-) induced tyrosinase assay conducted in B16F10 cells, performed a cytotoxicity assay, and determined cellular melanin content to examine the effects of a methanolic extract of A. communis (ACM) and various organic partition fractions of A. communis on melanogenesis. In addition, we performed western blot analysis to elucidate the mechanism of their antimelanogenesis effect. Our results indicated that, except for the n-hexane extract, ACM and the various partition extracts at noncytotoxic concentrations effectively decreased melanin content and tyrosinase activity by downregulating microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) and phosphorylated cAMP response element-binding protein (p-CREB). Moreover, ACM and the partition fractions activated phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) to inhibit the synthesis of MITF and finally to decrease melanin production. In conclusion, we suggest that noncytotoxic concentrations of ACM and the various partition fractions may be useful as references for developing skin-lighting agents for use in medicines or cosmetics.