Phloretin alleviates dinitrochlorobenzene-induced dermatitis in BALB/c mice.
Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2020 Jan-Dec;34:2058738420929442. PMID: 32571120
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the skin that substantially affects a patient's quality of life. While steroids are the most common therapy used to temporally alleviate the symptoms of AD, effective and nontoxic alternatives are urgently needed. In this study, we utilized a natural, plant-derived phenolic compound, phloretin, to treat allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) on the dorsal skin of mice. In addition, the effectiveness of phloretin was evaluated using a mouse model of ACD triggered by 2,4-dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB). In our experimental setting, phloretin was orally administered to BALB/c mice for 21 consecutive days, and then, the lesions were examined histologically. Our data revealed that phloretin reduced the process of epidermal thickening and decreased the infiltration of mast cells into the lesion regions, subsequently reducing the levels of histamine and the pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-6, IL-4, thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP), interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and IL-17A in the serum. These changes were associated with lower serum levels after phloretin treatment. In addition, we observed that the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and NF-κB pathways in the dermal tissues of the phloretin-treated rodents were suppressed compared to thosein the AD-like skin regions. Furthermore, phloretin appeared to limit the overproliferation of splenocytes in response to DNCB stimulation, reducing the number of IFN-γ-, IL-4-, and IL-17A-producing CD4T cells in the spleen back to their normal ranges. Taken together, we discovered a new therapeutic role of phloretin using a mouse model of DNCB-induced ACD, as shown by the alleviated AD-like symptoms and the reversed immunopathological effects. Therefore, we believe that phloretin has the potential to be utilized as an alternative therapeutic agent for treating AD.