2003 J Invest Dermatol 2003 ;121 (2):406-11
Kyoritsu College of Pharmacy, Tokyo 105-8512, Japan.

Protective effect of alpha-tocopherol-6-O-phosphate against ultraviolet B-induced damage in cultured mouse skin

The ability of the novel water-soluble provitamin E, alpha-tocopherol-6-O-phosphate, to protect against ultraviolet B-induced damage in cultured mouse skin was investigated and compared with the protectiveness of alpha-tocopherol acetate in cultured mouse skin. Pretreatment of skin with 0.5% (9.4 mM) alpha-tocopherol-6-O-phosphate in medium for 3 h significantly prevented such photodamage as sunburn cell formation, DNA degradation, and lipid peroxidation, which were induced in control cultured skin by a single dose of ultraviolet B irradiation at 0 to 40 kJ per m2 (290-380 nm, maximum 312 nm). This protection was greater than that seen with alpha-tocopherol acetate, the most common provitamin E that is used in commercial human skin care products. The concentration of alpha-tocopherol in cultured skin pretreated with 0.5% alpha-tocopherol-6-O-phosphate rose to approximately two to three times that found in the control skin and the reduction in cutaneous alpha-tocopherol that was induced by ultraviolet irradiation was significantly inhibited. In the group pretreated with 0.5% alpha-tocopherol acetate, however, conversion of alpha-tocopherol acetate to alpha-tocopherol was not observed, although the level of provitamin incorporated into the cultured skin was the same as that for alpha-tocopherol-6-O-phosphate. These findings indicated that the enhanced ability of alpha-tocopherol-6-O-phosphate to protect against ultraviolet B-induced skin damage compared with alpha-tocopherol acetate may have been due to alpha-tocopherol-6-O-phosphate's conversion to alpha-tocopherol. Moreover, following pretreatment with a 0.5% alpha-tocopherol-6-O-phosphate, alpha-tocopherol-6-O-phosphate was incorporated into the human skin in a three-dimensional model and 5% of the incorporated alpha-tocopherol-6-O-phosphate was converted to alpha-tocopherol. These results suggest that treatment with the novel provitamin E, alpha-tocopherol-6-O-phosphate may be useful in preventing ultraviolet-induced human skin damage.