2009 Volume 55 Issue 1 Pages 86-94
Ferrous ferric chloride (FFC) is a special form of aqueous iron that is a complex of ferrous chloride and ferric chloride and participates in oxidation and reduction reactions. My previous study showed that FFC stimulated the proliferation and differentiation of cultured epidermal melanoblasts or melanocytes derived from newborn mice. However, it is not known whether FFC stimulates the proliferation and differentiation of melanocytes in cooperation with natural factors, such as vinegars, vitamins, and herbal medicines. The drink Pairogen® (Akatsuka Co., Tsu, Japan) consists of FFC, vinegars, and vitamins, while Pairogen Gold® (Akatsuka Co.) contains herbal medicines in addition to FFC, vinegar, and vitamins. To clarify whether these natural factors supplemented to Pairogen or Pairogen Gold elicit stimulative effects on skin function, Pairogen and Pairogen Gold were added to the culture medium and tested for their proliferation- and differentiation-stimulating activity on melanocytes. Although Pairogen Gold failed to increase melanocyte proliferation beyond that elicited by FFC alone, it markedly increased melanocyte differentiation. In contrast, Pairogen possessed no such effect. The extracts of Chinese wolfberry (Lycium chinense) and Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) that are included in Pairogen Gold stimulated melanocyte differentiation additionally with FFC. Therefore, these results suggest that FFC is involved in regulating the differentiation of melanocytes additionally with extracts of Chinese wolfberry and Siberian ginseng.