Gami-Cheongyeul-Sodok-Eum (GCSE), an herbal formula of traditional Korean medicine, comprises nine herb components. GCSE has various biological activities such as anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-viral activities. However, it is still unclear whether GCSE has any immunomodulatory effect on atopic dermatitis (AD).
GCSE was treated to primary B cells and CD4+ T cells isolated from atopic mice to compare its inhibitory effects on IgE secretion and cytokine expression. Experimental AD was established by alternative treatment of 2, 4-dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB) and house dust mite extract to the ears of BALB/c mice. GCSE was topically applied to ears of atopic mice every day for 3 weeks. AD progression was analyzed by measuring ear thickness, serum IgE level, histological examination of ear tissue by H&E staining and cytokine profile of CD4+ T cells and CD19+ B cells by real time PCR and ELISA.
Treatment of GCSE significantly reduced IgE production and expression of AD associated pathogenic cytokines such as IL-4, IL-5, IL-10, IL-13, IL-17, TNF-α, and IFN-γ by lymphocytes isolated from AD-induced mice. Topical application of GCSE on the ears of AD-induced mice significantly reduced ear thickness, clinical score and lymphocytes infiltration to ears as compared to control group. GCSE treatment also reduced serum IgE level and the levels of major pathogenic cytokines such as IL-4, IL-5, IL-10, IL-13 and IL-17. In addition, GCSE treatment significantly increased Foxp3 expression level.
The protective effect of GCSE in experimental AD is mediated by inhibition of IgE production, by reduction in the levels of pathogenic cytokines and by induction of Foxp3, all of which are suggesting the beneficial effect of GCSE on modulating atopic dermatitis.