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Am J Chin Med. 2014;42(4):967-85. doi: 10.1142/S0192415X1450061X.

Salvia plebeia suppresses atopic dermatitis-like skin lesions.

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BK21 Plus KNU Biomedical Convergence Program, Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 700-422, Republic of Korea.


Salvia plebeia R. Br. (Lamiaceae) has been used for folk medicines in Asian countries, including Korea and China, to treat skin inflammatory diseases and asthma. In this study, we investigated the effects of S. plebeia extract (SPE) on atopic dermatitis (AD)-like skin lesions and defined underlying mechanisms of action. We established an AD model in BALB/c mice by repeated local exposure of house dust mite extract (Dermatophagoides farinae extract, DFE) and 2,4-dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB) to the ears. Repeated alternative treatment of DFE/DNCB caused AD-like skin lesions. The oral administration of SPE decreased AD symptoms based on ear thickness and histopathological analysis, in addition to serum IgE and IgG2a levels. SPE suppressed mast cell infiltration into the ear and serum histamine level. SPE inhibited Th1/Th2/Th17 phenotype CD4(+) T lymphocytes expansion in the lymph node and the expression of Th1/Th2/Th17 cytokines in the ear tissue. To define the underlying mechanisms of action, the tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interferon (IFN)-γ activated human keratinocytes (HaCaT) model was used. SPE significantly suppressed the expression of cytokines and chemokines through the down-regulation of mitogen-activated protein kinases, nuclear factor-κB, and STAT1 in HaCaT cells. Taken together, our results suggest that SPE might be a candidate for the treatment of AD.


Atopic Dermatitis; Keratinocytes; Salvia plebeia

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