Nicotinamide Prevents UVB- and Oxidative Stress‒Induced Photoaging in Human Primary Keratinocytes

Christina Yan Ru Tan, Chye Ling Tan, Toby Chin, Malgorzata Morenc, Chin Yee Ho, Holly A. Rovito, Ling Shih Quek, Ai Ling Soon, John S.Y. Lim, Oliver Dreesen, John E. Oblong and Sophie Bellanger


Nicotinamide (NAM), a NAM adenine dinucleotide precursor, is known for its benefits to skin health. Under standard culture conditions, NAM delays the differentiation and enhances the proliferation of human primary keratinocytes, leading to the maintenance of stem cells. In this study, we investigated the effects of NAM on photoaging in two-dimensional human primary keratinocyte cultures and three-dimensional organotypic epidermal models. In both models, we found that UVB irradiation and hydrogen peroxide induced human primary keratinocyte premature terminal differentiation and senescence. In three-dimensional organotypics, the phenotype was characterized by a thickening of the granular layer expressing filaggrin and loricrin, but thinning of the epidermis overall. NAM limited premature differentiation and ameliorated senescence, as evidenced by the maintenance of lamin B1 levels in both models, with decreased lipofuscin staining and reduced IL-6/IL-8 secretion in three-dimensional models, compared to those in UVB-only controls. In addition, DNA damage observed after irradiation was accompanied by a decline in energy metabolism, whereas both effects were partially prevented by NAM. Our data thus highlight the protective effects of NAM against photoaging and oxidative stress in the human epidermis and pinpoint DNA repair and energy metabolism as crucial underlying mechanisms.