This study investigated the suppression of photoaging by galacto-oligosaccharide (GOS) ingestion following exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. To investigate its photoprotective effects, GOS along with collagen tripeptide (CTP) as a positive control was orally administered to hairless mice under UVB exposure for 8 weeks. The water holding capacity, transepidermal water loss (TEWL), and wrinkle parameters were measured. Additionally, quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction and Western blotting were used to determine mRNA expression and protein levels, respectively. The GOS or CTP orally-administered group showed a decreased water holding capacity and increased TEWL compared to those of the control group, which was exposed to UVB (CON) only. In addition, the wrinkle area and mean wrinkle length in the GOS and CTP groups significantly decreased. Skin aging-related genes, matrix metalloproteinase, had significantly different expression levels in the CTP and GOS groups. Additionally, the tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases and collagen type I gene expression in the CTP and GOS groups significantly increased. Oral administration of GOS and CTP significantly lowered the tissue cytokine (interleukin-6 and -12, and tumor necrosis factor-α) levels. There was a significant difference in UVB-induced phosphorylation of JNK, p38, and ERK between the GOS group and the CON group. Our findings indicate that GOS intake can suppress skin damage caused by UV light and has a UV photoprotective effect.
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