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Effect of botulinum toxin A on tyrosinase and melanin: A literature review

  • Liowina Adlin Hokky ,
  • Made Ratna Saraswati ,
  • Ni Putu Sriwidyani ,
  • I Gusti Ayu Artini ,
  • I Putu Eka Widyadharma ,
  • Ketut Kwartantaya Winaya ,


Background: Melanogenesis is the process of forming melanin pigment initiated by the amino acid L-tyrosine; the main enzyme is tyrosinase. Tyrosinase acts as a catalyst for the hydroxylation reaction of L-tyrosine to L-DOPA and the oxidation of o-diphenol to dopaquinone. Under physiological conditions, the above process can be protective for the skin. However, if it occurs chronically and the melanogenesis process is uncontrolled, the above process can cause hyperpigmentation. One modality that is being researched for its usefulness in the world of anti-aging as anti-hyperpigmentation agent is botulinum toxin A.

Literature review: Botulinum toxin A can inhibit the release of acetylcholine in nerve cells. Melanocytes originate from ectodermal tissue such as nervous tissue; it is hypothesized that this modality can also influence melanosomes directly on keratinized cells to form cross-dendritic connections. This was proven by SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells which had increased levels of botulinum toxin A, but not human dermal fibroblast cells. Botulinum toxin A is also hypothesized to indirectly impact the melanogenesis process by inhibiting pro-inflammatory cytokines mediated by the interaction of melanocytes, keratinocytes, and fibroblasts. Inhibition of pro-inflammatory cytokine production inhibits the melanin biosynthesis process. This assumption was proven by a decrease in three pro-inflammatory cytokines such as basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), interleukin (IL)-1a, and prostaglandin E2 in keratinocytes

Conclusion: Intradermal injection of the botulinum toxin A has the potential to modulate tyrosinase enzyme and melanin synthesis. Botulinum toxin A can modulate melanin synthesis by directly inhibiting melanin synthesis in melanocytes and indirectly by modulating the interaction between melanocytes, keratinocytes, and fibroblasts.



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How to Cite

Hokky, L. A., Saraswati, M. R. ., Sriwidyani, N. P. ., Artini, I. G. A. ., Widyadharma, I. P. E. ., & Winaya, K. K. . (2024). Effect of botulinum toxin A on tyrosinase and melanin: A literature review. Indonesia Journal of Biomedical Science, 18(1), 110–115.




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Liowina Adlin Hokky
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Made Ratna Saraswati
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Ni Putu Sriwidyani
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I Gusti Ayu Artini
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I Putu Eka Widyadharma
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Ketut Kwartantaya Winaya
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