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Title: Exploring plant stilbenes for healthy skin
Author: Hawkins, Erica
ISNI:       0000 0004 7654 2236
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2018
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Accumulating evidence supports pharmacological roles for the plant stilbene, resveratrol in aging and disease contexts. Pterostilbene, a derivative of resveratrol, has been shown to have higher bioavailability and bio-efficacy than resveratrol, but is not abundant in natural sources. Previous work demonstrated that expression of the stilbene synthase gene, isolated from grapevine Vitis vinifera, under the control of a plant-wide promoter, led to a variety of growth and fertility problems in the transformed plants. To circumvent this problem two transgenic tomato lines were developed in this thesis to produce resveratrol and pterostilbene specifically in the fruit of tomato. An ex vivo full thickness human skin explant model was used to investigate the biological effects of aqueous tomato juices on normal human skin, and in an inflammatory disease-like context by treatment with inflammatory cytokines. Microarray analysis and qRT-PCR validation identified the differential regulation of several genes in human skin with tomato juice treatment, including a significant downregulation in expression of the aging-associated matrix metalloproteinase, MMP-12, observed with both wild type and resveratrol-enriched tomato extracts. MMP-12 protein could be detected in human skin explant media but regulation at this level proved elusive. Analysis of elastin fibres, a crucial structural component of skin, revealed subtle effects of tomato extracts. The effect of tomato extracts on reepithelialisation aspects of wound-healing was assessed using a full thickness skin explant model, in addition to scratch-wounds of keratinocyte and fibroblast skin cell lines. Initial studies of resveratrol- and pterostilbene-enriched tomato extracts indicated a greater biological activity associated with pterostilbene, and a potential inhibitory effect on migration of cells. Overall novel tomato lines have been generated and their fruit showed effects which could be relevant in the prevention of skin aging and in overcoming the consequences of inflammation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available