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Planta Med. 2009 Oct;75(12):1300-5. doi: 10.1055/s-0029-1185578. Epub 2009 Apr 2.

Diosgenin attenuates allergen-induced intestinal inflammation and IgE production in a murine model of food allergy.

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Department and Graduate Institute of Veterinary Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.


Diosgenin, the major sapogenin contained in the Chinese yam, has recently been shown to promote systemic T helper 1-type immunity in a murine model of airway hypersensitivity. In this study, we hypothesized that diosgenin might be effective in modulating food allergy. BALB/c mice were either left untreated (naïve; NA) or administered daily with vehicle (VH; olive oil) and/or diosgenin (100 or 200 mg/kg) by gavage throughout the experiment. Except for the NA group, the mice were sensitized with ovalbumin (OVA) and repeatedly challenged with intragastric OVA to induce intestinal allergic responses. Diosgenin demonstrated a suppressive effect on the intestinal inflammation, including the occurrence of diarrhea, the infiltration and degranulation of mast cells, and the presence of mucin-containing goblet cells in the duodenum. A protective effect by diosgenin on reducing the crypt depth of the intestine was also observed in OVA-sensitized and challenged mice. Furthermore, the serum production of OVA-specific IgE, and the total IgE was suppressed. In contrast, OVA-specific IgG (2a) was enhanced by diosgenin treatment in OVA-sensitized mice. These results demonstrated the IN VIVO anti-allergic activity of diosgenin, which is associated with the suppression of IgE production and mast cell infiltration and degranulation.

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