Hydroalcoholic extract of Rhodiola rosea L. (Crassulaceae) and its hydrolysate inhibit melanogenesis in B16F0 cells by regulating the CREB/MITF/tyrosinase pathway

Hsiu Mei Chiang, Yin Chih Chien, Chieh Hsi Wu, Yueh Hsiung Kuo, Wan Chen Wu, Yu Yun Pan, Yu Han Su, Kuo Ching Wen

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38 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated the effects of an aqueous alcohol extract of Rhodiola rosea ( R. rosea) and its hydrolysate on melanin synthesis and the mechanisms mediating the activity. The ratio of tyrosol to salidroside was 2.3 in hydroalcoholic extract, and 51.0 in hydrolysate. We found that R. rosea extract and its hydrolysate inhibited melanin synthesis and tyrosinase activity in mouse melanoma cells (B16F0 cells). R. rosea extract also inhibited gene and protein expression of melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) and inhibited c-AMP response element binding protein (CREB) phosphorylation, suppressed the activation of AKT and glycogen synthase kinase-3 beta (GSK3β), and inhibited the expression of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) and tyrosinase-related protein 1 (TRP-1). R. rosea hydrolysate inhibited the phosphorylation of CREB, the activation of AKT and GSK3β, and the expression of MITF and tyrosinase. Our results suggest that R. rosea extract is a novel tyrosinase inhibitor and that it exerts its effects by regulating the CREB/MITF/tyrosinase pathway in B16F0. Further in vivo studies are needed to determine the effectiveness of R. rosea extract as a skin whitening agent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-139
Number of pages11
JournalFood and Chemical Toxicology
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes



  • CREB
  • GSK3β
  • MC1R
  • Melanin
  • Rhodiola rosea
  • Tyrosinase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Toxicology

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