It has been demonstrated that adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) secrete cytokines and exhibit diverse pharmacological actions. The present study examined the unknown pharmacological action of ADSCs regarding whitening effects. A conditioned medium of ADSCs (ADSC-CM) was harvested and the whitening effect of ADSC-CM was studied in melanoma B16 cells. ADSC-CM treatment inhibited the synthesis of melanin and the activity of tyrosinase in a dose dependent manner. To clarify the underlying mechanisms of the whitening action of ADSCs, protein levels of melanogenic proteins were measured by Western blot. Although expressions of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor and tyrosinase-related protein 2 (TRP2) remained unchanged, those of tyrosinase and TRP1 were down-regulated. Transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1), a potent regulator of melanogenic proteins, was neutralized by the addition of a blocking antibody to ADSC-CM, and down-regulated expression of tyrosinase and TRP1 was almost reversed. Collectively, these results indicate that secretary factors of ADSC inhibit melanin synthesis by down-regulating the expression of tyrosinase and TRP1, which are mainly mediated by TGF-β1.
2008 The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan