Dietary apigenin attenuates the development of atopic dermatitis-like skin lesions in NC/Nga mice

J Nutr Biochem. 2009 Nov;20(11):876-81. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2008.08.002. Epub 2008 Nov 6.


One of the flavones, apigenin has various physiological functions including anti-inflammatory activities. Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronically relapsing inflammatory disorder that is characterized by pruritic and eczematous skin lesions. To evaluate the anti-allergic effect of apigenin in vivo, we examined the effect of dietary apigenin on picrylchloride (PiCl)-induced AD-like pathology in NC/Nga mice. NC/Nga mice were fed experimental diets containing apigenin from Day 18 after sensitized with PiCl for 4 weeks. Dietary apigenin significantly alleviated the development of skin lesions, accompanied by lower serum immunoglobulin (Ig) G1 and IgE levels in NC/Nga mice. Interferon (IFN)-gamma mRNA expression level in spleen cells from NC/Nga mice was reduced by apigenin feeding. Moreover, interleukin 4-induced signal transducers and activators of transcription 6 phosphorylation in primary spleen cells from BALB/c mice was inhibited by treatment with apigenin. These results suggest that apigenin attenuates exacerbation of AD-like symptoms in part through the reduction of serum IgE level and IFN-gamma expression in NC/Nga mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apigenin / therapeutic use*
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / chemically induced
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / diet therapy*
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / drug therapy
  • Interferon-gamma / genetics
  • Interleukin-4 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Phosphorylation / drug effects
  • Picryl Chloride
  • STAT6 Transcription Factor / antagonists & inhibitors


  • STAT6 Transcription Factor
  • Stat6 protein, mouse
  • Interleukin-4
  • Apigenin
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Picryl Chloride