The Administration of Topical Aloe vera Extract Reduce the Number of Sunburn Cells and Expression of Caspase-3 on Post UVB-light-exposure Epidermis

Kusumawati Soetrisno, Prasetyowati Subchan, Atina Hussana


Introduction: Ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation triggers the formation of free radicals that cause apoptosis and sunburn cells (SBC) formation. Aloe vera contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds that can potentially inhibit this process. Objective: to assess the effect of topical Aloe vera extract administration on the decrease of SBC number and Caspase-3 expression on the epidermis after UVB light exposure.
Methods: In a post-test only group design study, a single dose of 3 doses of Erythema (DEM) was performed on two groups of 6 week old BALB/c female rats. Group A (control) did not receive any topical treatment, and group B (treatment) were smeared with 75% Aloe vera extract before irradiation. Each group was divided into 4 sub-groups based on post-exposure time of 6 hours (A1 and B1), 12 hours (A2 and B2), 24 hours (A3 and B3), and 48 hours (A4 and B4). The expression of caspase-3 was assessed by immunohistochemical staining while the SBC number was measured using a microscope. The expression of caspase-3 was analyzed using the Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney statistical tests, while the number of SBC was analyzed using the one-way ANOVA statistical test and the post-hoc LSD test.
Results: The results of the Kruskal-Wallis analysis showed a significant difference in Caspase-3 expression between groups, p <0.05. The results of Mann-Whitney analysis showed a significant difference in Caspase-3 expression between the A1-A3 and B1-B3 subgroups (p <0.05). One-way ANOVA analysis showed a significant difference in the number of SBC between groups (p <0.05). Post-hoc LSD analysis showed significant differences in SBC counts between groups A and B across all subgroups, p <0.05.
Conclusion: Topical application of Aloe Vera extract decreased Caspase-3 expression and the number of SBC in UVB light-exposed skin.


Ultraviolet B, Aloe Vera, sunburn cell, Caspase-3

Full Text:



Armento A.J., Oldach J., Stolper G., Li M., Bachelor M.A. and Hayden P J (2015) ‘Evaluation of Cutaneous Damage and Repair Following Acute Solar Ultraviolet Radiation Exposure: Experiments with an In Vitro Reconstructed Human Skin Model and Excised Human Skin’, Applied In Vitro Toxicology. Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., 1(2), pp. 109–117.

Asuthkar S., Velpula K.K., Chetty C., Gorantla B. and Rao J.S. (2012) ‘Epigenetic Regulation of miRNA-211 by MMP-9 Governs Glioma Cell Apoptosis, Chemosensitivity and Radiosensitivity’, Oncotarget, 3(11), pp. 1439–1454.

Baron E.D. and Suggs A.K. (2014) ‘Introduction to Photobiology’, Dermatologic Clinics. 32(3), pp.

Battie C., Jitsukawa S., Bernerd F., Del Bino S., Marionnet C. and Verschoore M. (2014) ‘New insights in photoaging, UVA induced damage and skin types’, Experimental Dermatology, 23, pp. 7–12.

Bayerl C., Taake S., Moll I. and Jung E.G. (1995) ‘Characterization of sunburn cells after exposure to ultraviolet light’, Photodermatology, Photoimmunology & Photomedicine, 11(4), pp. 149–154.

Craig S., Earnshaw C.H. and Virós A. (2018) ‘Ultraviolet Light and Melanoma’, Journal of Pathology, 244(5), pp. 578–585.

D’Orazio J., Jarrett S., Amaro-Ortiz A. and Scott T. (2013) ‘UV Radiation and the Skin’, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 14, pp. 12222–48.

de Freitas C.L., Braga F.A., Cherubini K., Salum F.G. and de Figueiredo M.A.Z. (2016) ‘Topical application of Aloe vera and vitamin E on induced ulcers on the tongue of rats subjected to radiation: clinical and histological evaluation’, Supportive Care in Cancer, 24(6), pp. 2557–2564.

Gabros S. and Zito P.M. (2020) ‘Sunscreens and Photoprotection’, in StatPearls. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing.

Goswami P.K., Samant M. and Srivastava R. (2013) ‘Natural Sunscreen Agents: A Review’, Scholars Academic Journal of Pharmacy, 2(6), p. 6.

Haddad P., Amouzgar-Hashemi F., Samsami S., Chinichian S. and Oghabian M.A. (2013) ‘Aloe vera for prevention of radiation-induced dermatitis: a self-controlled clinical trial’, Current Oncology, 20(4), pp. e345-348.

Hart P.H. and Gorman S. (2013) ‘Exposure to UV Wavelengths in Sunlight Suppresses Immunity. To What Extent is UV-induced Vitamin D3 the Mediator Responsible?’, The Clinical Biochemist Reviews, 34(1), pp. 3–13.

Ibuki Y., Allanson M., Dixon K.M. and Reeve V.E. (2007) ‘Radiation Sources Providing Increased UVA/UVB Ratios Attenuate the Apoptotic Effects of the UVB Waveband UVA-Dose-Dependently in Hairless Mouse Skin’, Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 127(9), pp. 2236–2244.

Julien O. and Wells J.A. (2017) ‘Caspases and their substrates’, Cell Death and Differentiation, 24(8), pp. 1380–1389.

Kumar M.S., Datta P.K. and Gupta S.D. (2009) ‘In vitro evaluation of UV opacity potential of Aloe vera L. gel from different germplasms’, Journal of Natural Medicines, 63(2), pp. 195–199.

Lee C.H., Wu S.B., Hong C.H., Yu H.S. and Wei Y.H. (2013) ‘Molecular Mechanisms of UV-Induced Apoptosis and Its Effects on Skin Residential Cells: The Implication in UV-Based Phototherapy’, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 14(3), pp. 6414–6435.

Liu J., Xu Q., Zhang J., Zhou X., Lyu F., Zhao P. and Ding Y. (2015) ‘Preparation, Composition Analysis and Antioxidant Activities of Konjac Oligo-glucomannan’, Carbohydrate Polymers, 130.

Matsumura Y. and Ananthaswamy H.N. (2002) ‘Short-term and long-term cellular and molecular events following UV irradiation of skin: implications for molecular medicine’, Expert Reviews in Molecular Medicine, 4(26), pp. 1–22.

McIlwain D.R., Berger T. and Mak T.W. (2013) ‘Caspase functions in cell death and disease’, Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology, 5(4), p. a008656.

Nejatzadeh-Barandozi F. (2013) ‘Antibacterial activities and antioxidant capacity of Aloe vera’, Organic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters, 3(1), p. 5.

Nys K., Maes H., Andrei G., Snoeck R., Garmyn M. and Agostinis P. (2012) ‘Skin mild hypoxia enhances killing of UVB-damaged keratinocytes through reactive oxygen species-mediated apoptosis requiring Noxa and Bim’, Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 52(6), pp. 1111–1120.

Pandel R., Poljšak B., Godic A. and Dahmane R. (2013) ‘Skin Photoaging and the Role of Antioxidants in Its Prevention’, ISRN Hematology. Hindawi Publishing Corporation, pp. 1-11.

Paul S., Dutta S., Chaudhuri T.K. and Bhattacharjee S. (2014) ‘Anti-inflammatory and protective properties of Aloe vera leaf crude gel in carrageenan induced acute inflammatory rat models’, International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 6(9), p. 4.

Ray A., Gupta S.D. and Ghosh S. (2013) ‘Isolation and characterization of potent bioactive fraction with antioxidant and UV absorbing activity from Aloe barbadensis Miller gel’, Journal of Plant Biochemistry and Biotechnology, 22(4), pp. 483–487.

Sklar L.R., Almutawa F., Lim H.W. and Hamzavi I. (2013) ‘Effects of ultraviolet radiation, visible light, and infrared radiation on erythema and pigmentation: a review’, Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences. Royal Society of Chemistry, 12(1), pp. 54–64.

Salucci S., Burattini S., Battistelli M., Baldassarri V., Maltarello M.C. and Falcieri E. (2012) ‘Ultraviolet B (UVB) Irradiation-Induced Apoptosis in Various Cell Lineages in Vitro’, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 14(1), pp. 532–546.

Shalabi M., Khilo K., Zakaria M.M., Elsebaei M.G., Abdo W. and Awadin W. (2015) ‘Anticancer activity of Aloe vera and Calligonum comosum extracts separetely on hepatocellular carcinoma cells’, Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, 5(5), pp. 375–381.

Song K., Zhang M., Hu J., Liu Y., Liu Y., Wang Y. and Ma X. (2015) ‘Methane-rich saline attenuates ischemia/reperfusion injury of abdominal skin flaps in rats via regulating apoptosis level’, BMC Surgery, 15(1), p. 92.

Tester R. and Al-Ghazzewi F.H. (2017) ‘Role of Glucomannans in Immunology’, Journal of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, 20(0), pp. 97–114.

Vázquez-Velasco M., González-Torres L., López-Gasco P., Bastida S., Benedí J., Sánchez-Reus M.I., González-Muñoz M.J. and Sánchez-Muniz F.J. (2014) ‘Liver oxidation and inflammation in Fa/Fa rats fed glucomannan/spirulina-surimi’, Food Chemistry, 159, pp. 215–221.

Vijayalakshmi D., Dhandapani R., Jayaveni S., Jithendra P.S., Rose C. and Mandal A.B. (2012) ‘In vitro anti inflammatory activity of Aloe vera by down regulation of MMP-9 in peripheral blood mononuclear cells’, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 141(1), pp. 542–546.

Watson R.E.B. and Griffiths C.E.M. (2019) Cutaneous Photoaging. Royal Society of Chemistry.

Welsh J. (2012) ‘Cellular and molecular effects of vitamin D on carcinogenesis’, Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics. 523(1), pp. 107–114.

Wu W.T., Yang L.C. and Chen H.L. (2014) ‘Effects of konjac glucomannan, inulin and cellulose on acute colonic responses to genotoxic azoxymethane’, Food Chemistry, 155, pp. 304–310.

Yang Y., Jiang G., Zhang P. and Fan J. (2015) ‘Programmed cell death and its role in inflammation’, Military Medical Research, 2(12), pp. 1-12.

Yonehara A., Tanaka Y., Kulkeaw K., Era T., Nakanishi Y. and Sugiyama D. (2015) ‘Aloe vera Extract Suppresses Proliferation of Neuroblastoma Cells In Vitro’, Anticancer Research. International Institute of Anticancer Research, 35(8), pp. 4479–4485.


Article Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at

stats View My Stats.