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Open AccessArticle

Ethinylestradiol and Levonorgestrel as Active Agents in Normal Skin, and Pathological Conditions Induced by UVB Exposure: In Vitro and In Ovo Assessments

1
Faculty of Pharmacy, “Victor Babeș” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 300041 Timișoara, Romania
2
Faculty of Medicine, “Victor Babeș” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 300041 Timișoara, Romania
3
Faculty of Dentistry, “Victor Babeș” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 300041 Timișoara, Romania
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(11), 3600; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19113600
Received: 14 September 2018 / Revised: 8 November 2018 / Accepted: 10 November 2018 / Published: 14 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sex Hormone Receptor Signals in Human Malignancies)
The link between melanoma development and the use of oral combined contraceptives is not fully elucidated, and the data concerning this issue are scarce and controversial. In the present study, we show that the components of oral contraceptives, ethinylestradiol (EE), levonorgestrel (LNG), and their combination (EE + LNG) ± UVB (ultraviolet B radiation) induced differential effects on healthy (human keratinocytes, fibroblasts, and primary epidermal melanocytes, and murine epidermis cells) and melanoma cells (human—A375 and murine—B164A5), as follows: (i) at low doses (1 µM), the hormones were devoid of significant toxicity on healthy cells, but in melanoma cells, they triggered cell death via apoptosis; (ii) higher doses (10 µM) were associated with cytotoxicity in all cells, the most affected being the melanoma cells; (iii) UVB irradiation proved to be toxic for all types of cells; (iv) UVB irradiation + hormonal stimulation led to a synergistic cytotoxicity in the case of human melanoma cells—A375 and improved viability rates of healthy and B164A5 cells. A weak irritant potential exerted by EE and EE + LNG (10 µM) was assessed by the means of a chick chorioallantoic membrane assay. Further studies are required to elucidate the hormones’ cell type-dependent antimelanoma effect and the role played by melanin in this context. View Full-Text
Keywords: ethinylestradiol; levonorgestrel; keratinocytes; fibroblasts; melanocytes; melanoma; ultraviolet radiation ethinylestradiol; levonorgestrel; keratinocytes; fibroblasts; melanocytes; melanoma; ultraviolet radiation
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Coricovac, D.; Farcas, C.; Nica, C.; Pinzaru, I.; Simu, S.; Stoian, D.; Soica, C.; Proks, M.; Avram, S.; Navolan, D.; Dumitru, C.; Popovici, R.A.; Dehelean, C.A. Ethinylestradiol and Levonorgestrel as Active Agents in Normal Skin, and Pathological Conditions Induced by UVB Exposure: In Vitro and In Ovo Assessments. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 3600.

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