Experimental & molecular medicine

Anti-inflammatory activity of compounds isolated from Astragalus sinicus L. in cytokine-induced keratinocytes and skin.

PMID 24651533


Inflammation is a part of the complex biological responses of a tissue to injury that protect the organ by removing injurious stimuli and initiating the healing process, and is considered as a mechanism of innate immunity. To identify biologically active compounds against pathogenic inflammatory and immune responses, we fractionated water, aqueous methanol and n-hexane layers from nine kinds of leguminosae and examined anti-inflammatory activity of the fractions in human keratinocytes and mouse skin. Among the fractions, rf3 and rf4, isolated from the aqueous methanol layer of Astragalus sinicus L., exhibited the strongest reactive oxygen species (ROS)-scavenging and anti-inflammatory activities as measured by inhibition of the intracellular ROS production, nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB), janus kinase (JAK)/signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT), and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt signaling in cytokine-stimulated human keratinocytes, as well as by effects on T-cell differentiation in mouse CD4(+) T cells. In addition, topical application of rf3 and rf4 suppressed the progression of psoriasis-like dermatitis and expression of pro-inflammatory mediators in interleukin (IL)-23-injected mouse ears. Our results suggest that Astragalus sinicus L. may ameliorate chronic inflammatory skin diseases due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities via regulation of the intracellular ROS production, NF-κB, JAK/STAT and PI3/Akt signaling cascades as well as immune responses, and these results are the first report that Astragalus sinicus L. exhibits pharmacological activity.