), a naturally occurring stilbene compound, has been suggested as a potential whitening agent with strong inhibitory activity on melanin synthesis. However, the use of resveratrol in cosmetics has been limited due to its chemical instability and poor bioavailability. Therefore, resveratrol derivatives were prepared to improve bioavailability and anti-melanogenesis activity. Nine resveratrol derivatives including five alkyl ether derivatives with C2
, and C8
) and four ester derivatives with CH3
) were newly synthesized and their effect on melanin synthesis were assessed. All the synthetic derivatives efficiently reduced the melanin content in α-MSH stimulated B16F10 melanoma cells. Further investigation showed that the inhibitory effect of 2a
on melanin synthesis was achieved not by the inhibition of tyrosinase activity but by the inhibition of melanogenic enzyme expressions such as tyrosinase and tyrosinase-related protein (TRP)-1. Our synthetic resveratrol derivatives have more lipophilic properties than resveratrol by the addition of alkyl or acyl chains to free hydroxyl moiety of resveratrol; thus, they are expected to show better bioavailability in skin application. Therefore, we suggest that our synthetic resveratrol derivatives might be promising candidates for better practical application to skin-whitening cosmetics.
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