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Probing the effects of sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.) extract on 2D and 3D human skin models

Sophia Letsiou, Ioannis Ganopoulos, Aliki Kapazoglou, Aliki Xanthopoulou, Eirini Sarrou, Georgia Tanou and Athanassios Molassiotis



Natural products are not only positioned in the heart of traditional medicine but also in modern medicine as many current drugs are coming from natural sources. Apart from the field of medicine and therapeutics, natural products are broadly used in other industrial fields such as nutrition, skincare products and nanotechnology.

Methods and results

The aim of this study was to assess the effects of sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.) fruit extract from the Greek native cultivar ‘Vasiliadi’, on the human 2D and 3D in vitro models in order to investigate its potential impact on skin. We focused on 2D culture of primary normal human epidermal keratinocytes (NHEK) that were treated with sweet cherry fruit extract. In the first place, we targeted fruit extract potential cytotoxicity by determining ATP intracellular levels. Furthermore, we assessed its potential skin irritability by using 3D skin model. To better understand the bioactivity of sweet cherry fruit. extract, we used qPCR to study the expression of various genes that are implicated in the skin functions. Our experiments showed that sweet cherry fruit extract is non-toxic in 2D keratinocytes culture as well as non-irritant in 3D skin model. Our results revealed that the extract mediated important pathways for the optimum epidermis function such as cell proliferation, immune and inflammatory response.


The sweet cherry fruit extracts possesses significant activity in epidermis function without any potential of cytotoxicity or skin irritability, which makes it a rather promising active agent for skincare.