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Tranexamic Acid Diminishes Laser-Induced Melanogenesis.

BACKGROUND: The treatment of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) remains challenging. Tranexamic acid, a well-known anti-fibrinolytic drug, has recently demonstrated a curative effect towards melasma and ultraviolet-induced PIH in Asian countries. However, the precise mechanism of its inhibitory effect on melanogenesis is not fully understood.

OBJECTIVE: In order to clarify the inhibitory effect of tranexamic acid on PIH, we investigated its effects on mouse melanocytes (i.e., melan-a cells) and human melanocytes.

METHODS: Melan-a cells and human melanocytes were cultured with fractional CO2 laser-treated keratinocyte-conditioned media. Melanin content and tyrosinase activity were evaluated in cells treated with or without tranexamic acid. Protein levels of tyrosinase, tyrosinase-related protein (TRP)-1, and TRP-2 were evaluated in melan-a cells. Signaling pathway molecules involved in melanogenesis in melanoma cells were also investigated.

RESULTS: Tranexamic acid-treated melanocytes exhibited reduced melanin content and tyrosinase activity. Tranexamic acid also decreased tyrosinase, TRP-1, and TRP-2 protein levels. This inhibitory effect on melanogenesis was considered to be involved in extracellular signal-regulated kinase signaling pathways and subsequently microphthalmia-associated transcription factor degradation.

CONCLUSION: Tranexamic acid may be an attractive candidate for the treatment of PIH.

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