Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Immunology and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

The effect of caffeic acid phenethyl ester on the functions of human monocyte-derived dendritic cells

Li-Chieh Wang1, Yu-Li Lin2, Yu-Chih Liang3, Yao-Hsu Yang1, Jyh-Hong Lee1, Hsin-Hui Yu1, Wen-Mein Wu4 and Bor-Luen Chiang1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pediatrics, National Taiwan University Hospital, 7 Chung-Shan South Rd, Taipei 100, Taiwan, Republic of China

2 Department of Medical Research, National Taiwan University Hospital, 7 Chung-Shan South Rd, Taipei 100, Taiwan, Republic of China

3 School of Medical Laboratory Science & Biotechnology, College of Medicine, Taipei Medical University, 250 Wu-Xin Street, Taipei 110, Taiwan, Republic of China

4 Department of Nutritional Science, Fu-Jen Catholic University, 510 Chung-Cheng Rd, Hsinchuang, Taipei County 24205, Taiwan, Republic of China

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Immunology 2009, 10:39  doi:10.1186/1471-2172-10-39

Published: 16 July 2009

Abstract

Background

Propolis, an ancient herbal medicine, has been reported the beneficial effect both in asthma patients and murine model of asthma, but the mechanism was not clearly understood. In this study, the effect of caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), the most extensively studied components in propolis, on the functions of human monocyte-derived dendritic cells (MoDCs) was investigated.

Results

CAPE significantly inhibited IL-12 p40, IL-12 p70, IL-10 protein expression in mature healthy human MoDCs stimulated by lipopolysaccharides (LPS) and IL-12 p40, IL-10, IP-10 stimulated by crude mite extract. CAPE significantly inhibited IL-10 and IP-10 but not IL-12 expression in allergic patients' MoDCs stimulated by crude mite extract. In contrast, the upregulation of costimulatory molecules in mature MoDCs was not suppressed by CAPE. Further, the antigen presenting ability of DCs was not inhibited by CAPE. CAPE inhibited IκBα phosphorylation and NF-κB activation but not mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) family phosphorylation in human MoDCs.

Conclusion

These results indicated that CAPE inhibited cytokine and chemokine production by MoDCs which might be related to the NF-κB signaling pathway. This study provided a new insight into the mechanism of CAPE in immune response and the rationale for propolis in the treatment of asthma and other allergic disorders.