International journal of clinical and experimental medicine

Effects of artemether on the proliferation, apoptosis, and differentiation of keratinocytes: potential application for psoriasis treatment.

PMID 26221244


Artemether exhibits diverse pharmacological effects and has multiple applications. This study aimed to investigate its antiproliferative and apoptogenic effects on HaCaT cells and keratinocyte differentiation-inducing activity in vivo. WST-8 analysis demonstrated that Artemether can inhibit the proliferation of cultured HaCaT cells in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Annexin V/PI dual staining and JC-1 staining further revealed that Artemether can dose-dependently augment HaCaT apoptosis. To investigate the keratinocyte differentiation-inducing activity of Artemether, it was prepared as topical creams at concentrations of 1%, 3%, and 5%. During the 4 weeks of topical treatment, no evidence of irritation was observed in the mouse tail test. Artemether cream dose-dependently increased the degree of orthokeratosis and the relative epidermal thickness of mouse tail skin, indicative of the keratinocyte differentiation-inducing activity. Taking the in vitro and in vivo findings together, the present study suggests that Artemether may be a promising antipsoriatic agent worthy of further investigation.