Pycnogenol inhibits immunoglobulin E-mediated allergic response in mast cells

Phytother Res. 2009 Dec;23(12):1691-5. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2812.


IgE-dependent mast cell activation is known to be associated with the allergic diseases. Pycnogenol (PYC) is a standardized extract of the bark of French maritime pine containing bioflavonoids with a potent antioxidant activity. The antiallergic activity of PYC was evaluated using both in vivo and in vitro experimental models. Oral administration of PYC significantly inhibited anti-dinitrophenyl (DNP) IgE-mediated passive cutaneous anaphylaxis in rats. In an in vitro study, PYC dose-dependently reduced histamine release from rat peritoneal mast cells (RPMC) triggered by anti-DNP IgE. PYC inhibited the protein expression and secretion of tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-6 in anti-DNP IgE-stimulated RPMC. Moreover, PYC decreased anti-DNP IgE-induced calcium uptake into RPMC. Furthermore, PYC suppressed nuclear factor-kappa B activation. From these results, the clinical use of PYC in the mast cell-mediated immediate-type allergic diseases is proposed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Allergic Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Allergic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Cell Survival
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology
  • Flavonoids / therapeutic use*
  • Histamine Release / drug effects
  • Immunoglobulin E / metabolism*
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mast Cells / drug effects*
  • Mast Cells / metabolism
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Passive Cutaneous Anaphylaxis / drug effects*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Pinus / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Anti-Allergic Agents
  • Flavonoids
  • Interleukin-6
  • NF-kappa B
  • Plant Extracts
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • pycnogenols
  • Calcium