Red- and Near-Infrared-Excited Autofluorescence as a Marker for Acute Oxidative Stress in Skin Exposed to Cigarette Smoke Ex Vivo and In Vivo
Air pollution is increasing worldwide and skin is exposed to high levels of pollution daily, causing oxidative stress and other negative consequences. The methods used to determine oxidative stress in the skin are invasive and non-invasive label-free in vivo methods, which are severely limited. Here, a non-invasive and label-free method to determine the effect of cigarette smoke (CS) exposure on skin ex vivo (porcine) and in vivo (human) was established. The method is based on the measurement of significant CS-exposure-induced enhancement in red- and near-infrared (NIR)-excited autofluorescence (AF) intensities in the skin. To understand the origin of red- and NIR-excited skin AF, the skin was exposed to several doses of CS in a smoking chamber. UVA irradiation was used as a positive control of oxidative stress in the skin. The skin was measured with confocal Raman microspectroscopy before CS exposure, immediately after CS exposure, and after skin cleaning. CS exposure significantly increased the intensity of red- and NIR-excited skin AF in a dose-dependent manner in the epidermis, as confirmed by laser scanning microscopy AF imaging and fluorescence spectroscopy measurements. UVA irradiation enhanced the intensity of AF, but to a lower extent than CS exposure. We concluded that the increase in red- and NIR-excited AF intensities of the skin after CS exposure could clearly be related to the induction of oxidative stress in skin, where skin surface lipids are mainly oxidized.