Ultraviolet (UV) radiation induces DNA damage, oxidative stress, and inflammatory processes in skin, resulting in photoaging. Natural botanicals have gained considerable attention due to their beneficial protection against the harmful effects of UV irradiation. The present study aimed to evaluate the ability of curcumin (Cur) to protect human dermal fibroblasts (HDFs) against ultraviolet A (UVA)‑induced photoaging. HDFs were treated with 0‑10 µM Cur for 2 h and subsequently exposed to various intensities of UVA irradiation. The cell viability and apoptotic rate of HDFs were investigated by MTT and flow cytometry assays, respectively. The effect of UVA and Cur on the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), malondialdehyde levels, which are an indicator of ROS, and the levels/activity of antioxidative defense proteins, including glutathione, superoxide dismutase and catalase, were evaluated using 2',7'-dichlorofluorescin diacetate and commercial assay kits. Furthermore, western blotting was performed to determine the levels of proteins associated with endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, the apoptotic pathway, inflammation and the collagen synthesis pathway. The results demonstrated that Cur reduced the accumulation of ROS and restored the activity of antioxidant defense enzymes, indicating that Cur minimized the damage induced by UVA irradiation in HDFs. Furthermore, western blot analysis demonstrated that Cur may attenuate UVA‑induced ER stress, inflammation and apoptotic signaling by downregulating the protein expression of glucose‑regulated protein 78, C/EBP‑homologous protein, nuclear factor‑κB and cleaved caspase‑3, while upregulating the expression of Bcl‑2. Additionally, it was demonstrated that Cur may regulate collagen metabolism by decreasing the protein expression of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)‑1 and MMP‑3, and may promote the repair of cells damaged as a result of UVA irradiation through increasing the protein expression of transforming growth factor‑β (TGF‑β) and Smad2/3, and decreasing the expression of the TGF‑β inhibitor, Smad7. In conclusion, the results of the present study indicate the potential benefits of Cur for the protection of HDFs against UVA‑induced photoaging and highlight the potential for the application of Cur in skin photoprotection.
Tree mortality rates appear to be increasing in moist tropical forests (MTFs) with significant carbon cycle consequences. Here, we review the state of knowledge regarding MTF tree mortality, create a conceptual framework with testable hypotheses regarding the drivers, mechanisms and interactions that may underlie increasing MTF mortality rates, and identify the next steps for improved understanding and reduced prediction. Increasing mortality rates are associated with rising temperature and vapor pressure deficit, liana abundance, drought, wind events, fire and, possibly, CO2 fertilization-induced increases in stand thinning or acceleration of trees reaching larger, more vulnerable heights. The majority of these mortality drivers may kill trees in part through carbon starvation and hydraulic failure. The relative importance of each driver is unknown. High species diversity may buffer MTFs against large-scale mortality events, but recent and expected trends in mortality drivers give reason for concern regarding increasing mortality within MTFs. Models of tropical tree mortality are advancing the representation of hydraulics, carbon and demography, but require more empirical knowledge regarding the most common drivers and their subsequent mechanisms. We outline critical datasets and model developments required to test hypotheses regarding the underlying causes of increasing MTF mortality rates, and improve prediction of future mortality under climate change.
Survival rates of large trees determine forest biomass dynamics. Survival rates of small trees have been linked to mechanisms that maintain biodiversity across tropical forests. How species survival rates change with size offers insight into the links between biodiversity and ecosystem function across tropical forests. We tested patterns of size-dependent tree survival across the tropics using data from 1,781 species and over 2 million individuals to assess whether tropical forests can be characterized by size-dependent life-history survival strategies. We found that species were classifiable into four 'survival modes' that explain life-history variation that shapes carbon cycling and the relative abundance within forests. Frequently collected functional traits, such as wood density, leaf mass per area and seed mass, were not generally predictive of the survival modes of species. Mean annual temperature and cumulative water deficit predicted the proportion of biomass of survival modes, indicating important links between evolutionary strategies, climate and carbon cycling. The application of survival modes in demographic simulations predicted biomass change across forest sites. Our results reveal globally identifiable size-dependent survival strategies that differ across diverse systems in a consistent way. The abundance of survival modes and interaction with climate ultimately determine forest structure, carbon storage in biomass and future forest trajectories.