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Open Access Research article

Morus alba L. suppresses the development of atopic dermatitis induced by the house dust mite in NC/Nga mice

Hye-Sun Lim, Hyekyung Ha, Hoyoung Lee, Jun Kyung Lee, Mee-Young Lee and Hyeun-Kyoo Shin*

Author Affiliations

Herbal Medicine Formulation Research Group, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, 1672 Yuseong-daero, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 305-811, Republic of Korea

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014, 14:139  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-139

Published: 23 April 2014

Abstract

Background

Morus alba, a medicinal plant in Asia, has been used traditionally to treat diabetes mellitus and hypoglycemia. However, the effects of M. alba extract (MAE) on atopic dermatitis have not been verified scientifically. We investigated the effects of MAE on atopic dermatitis through in vitro and in vivo experiments.

Methods

We evaluated the effects of MAE on the production of nitric oxide (NO) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) in RAW 264.7, as well as thymus and activation-regulated chemokine (TARC/CCL17) in HaCaT cells. In an in vivo experiment, atopic dermatitis was induced by topical application of house dust mites for four weeks, and the protective effects of MAE were investigated by measuring the severity of the skin reaction on the back and ears, the plasma levels of immunoglobulin E (IgE) and histamine, and histopathological changes in the skin on the back and ears.

Results

MAE suppressed the production of NO and PGE2 in RAW 264.7 cells, as well as TARC in HaCaT cells, in a dose-dependent manner. MAE treatment of NC/Nga mice reduced the severity of dermatitis and the plasma levels of IgE and histamine. MAE also reduced the histological manifestations of atopic dermatitis-like skin lesions such as erosion, hyperplasia of the epidermis and dermis, and inflammatory cell infiltration in the skin on the back and ears.

Conclusion

Our results suggest that MAE has potent inhibitory effects on atopic dermatitis-like lesion and may be a beneficial natural resource for the treatment of atopic dermatitis.

Keywords:
Atopic dermatitis; Keratinocyte; Macrophage; Morus alba; NC/Nga mouse