Background/Aims: Airborne particulate matter with a diameter of < 10 µm (PM10) causes oxidative damage, inflammation, and premature skin aging. In this study, we evaluated whether polyphenolic antioxidants attenuate the inflammatory responses of PM10-exposed keratinocytes. Methods: Primary human epidermal keratinocytes were exposed in vitro to PM10 in the absence or presence of punicalagin and (–)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which are the major polyphenolic antioxidants found in pomegranate and green tea, respectively. Assays were performed to determine cell viability, production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and expression of NADPH oxidases (NOX), proinflammatory cytokines, and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1. Results: PM10 decreased cell viability and increased ROS production in a dose-dependent manner. It also increased the expression levels of NOX-1, NOX-2, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-8, and MMP-1. Punicalagin was not cytotoxic up to 300 μM, and (–)-EGCG was cytotoxic above 30 μM, respectively. Further, punicalagin (3–30 μM) and EGCG (3–10 μM) rescued the viability of PM10-exposed cells. They also attenuated ROS production and the expression of NOX-1, NOX-2, TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, and MMP-1 stimulated by PM10. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that polyphenolic antioxidants, such as punicalagin and (–)-EGCG, rescue keratinocyte viability and attenuate the inflammatory responses of these cells due to airborne particles.

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