Aims: The water lily (WL) is found in Europe, Asia, and North America. WL reportedly has various pharmacological activities that improve the activities of daily life in humans. To our knowledge, no previous study has investigated about the aspect of protection on skin aging due to the mitochondria-mediated antiapoptosis effects of WL rhizome extract (WLRE) on human epidermal keratinocytes. Methods: Human epidermal keratinocytes cells were treated with WLRE (100, 200, and 400 μg/ml) for 1 h and then with ultraviolet radiation B (UVB) (50 mJ/cm2) for another 23 h. The levels of lactate dehydrogenase, reactive oxygen species (ROS), MitoTracker, caspase-3, and glutathione were analyzed spectrophotometrically. Also, the levels of B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) family proteins were determined with immunohistochemistry or western blotting. Results: We investigated the protective effects of WLRE against UVB-induced mitochondria-mediated apoptosis. WLRE significantly and concentrations-dependently reduced UVB-induced apoptotic cytotoxicity. Furthermore, WLRE decreased ROS generation, mitochondrial dysfunction, Bcl-2-associated X protein levels, and cytochrome c release from mitochondria while increasing Bcl-2 protein levels as assessed. Moreover, WLRE inhibited caspase-3 activity and expression, indicating the inhibition of the apoptotic cascade, and induced increased levels of total glutathione, heme oxygenase 1, and radical-scavenging activity. Conclusion: Together, these results demonstrate that WLRE can protect human epidermal keratinocytes against UVB-induced mitochondria-mediated apoptosis by regulating ROS-eliminating pathways.

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