1995 Volume 18 Issue 8 Pages 1076-1080
Sodium 5, 6-benzylidene ascorbate (SBA) is a conjugate of ascorbic acid (Asc) with benzyaldehyde. It has been found that the antioxidant activity of SBA is more stable and has a longer lifetime in living cells and organs than Asc. In this study, we investigated the effect of SBA on the induction of melanin in cultured melanoma (B-16) cells irradiated by UV-A. Melanin content of B-16 cells was significantly increased by UV-A irradiation. The induction was abolished by mannitol and particularly by superoxide dismutase, suggesting the involvement of O-2 in the biosynthesis of melanin in cultured melanoma cells. This was theorized by the fact that the induction was also observed in B-16 cells treated with superoxide anion radicals chemically generated in the hypoxanthine/xanthine oxidase-reaction system, instead of UV-A irradiation. The induction of melanin caused by UV-A irradiation was suppressed by SBA in a dose-dependent manner. To elucidate the mechanism of this suppressive effect, the scavenging activity against O-2, and the inhibitory effect of SBA on tyrosinase activity were examined. ESR spectrometric analysis showed that SBA strongly scavenged O-2, and the presence of SBA in the medium remarkably inhibited the tyrosinase activity in cultured B-16 melanoma cells. It can be concluded that SBA effectively inhibits the melanin biosynthesis in B-16 melanoma cells induced by reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated by UV-A irradiation via tyrosinase.