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Biol Pharm Bull. 2007 Aug;30(8):1468-71.

Oral administration of Astragalus membranaceus inhibits the development of DNFB-induced dermatitis in NC/Nga mice.

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Department of Microbiology (BK21), College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, #1 Hoegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 130-701, Korea.


Epicutaneously administered chemical antigens like 2,4-dinitrofluorobenzene (DNFB), evoke an atopic dermatitis (AD)-like dermatitis reaction in NC/Nga mice under specific pathogen free (SPF) conditions. Astragalus membranaceus (AM), is a popular herbal medicine used to treat allergic diseases in East Asia. In the present study, we examined whether AM suppress AD-like skin lesions in NC/Nga mice treated with DNFB under SPF conditions. Oral administration of AM to DNFB-treated NC/Nga mice was found to inhibit ear thickness increases and the skin lesions induced by DNFB. Moreover, IFN-gamma production by CD4(+) T cells from the lymph nodes of DNFB-treated NC/Nga mice was significantly inhibited by AM treatment, although levels of IL-4 and total IgE in serum were not. Study findings suggest that AM may suppress the development of AD-like dermatitis in DNFB-treated NC/Nga mice by reducing IFN-gamma production.

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