Xanthohumol inhibits IL-12 production and reduces chronic allergic contact dermatitis

Int Immunopharmacol. 2010 May;10(5):556-61. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2010.02.002. Epub 2010 Feb 6.


Xanthohumol (XN) and its related compounds were evaluated for their effects on modulating the production of interleukin (IL)-12, the most important factor driving T helper 1 immune responses. XN showed the strongest inhibitory effect on IL-12 production in macrophages stimulated by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or LPS/interferon-gamma. Xanthohumol 4'-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside (XNG) inhibited IL-12 production less effectively than XN. Isoxanthohumol and 8-prenylnaringenin showed comparatively lower inhibitory effects on IL-12 production than XNG. (2S)-5-methoxy-8-prenylnaringenin 7-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside did not exert any effect on IL-12 production. We then tested how these compounds affected NF-kappaB binding activity to the kappaB site in the nucleus. The compounds inhibited kappaB binding in macrophages with the same potency order as IL-12 inhibition. Furthermore, we investigated whether XN, which showed the most effective reduction of IL-12 production, attenuated skin inflammation. Chronic allergic contact dermatitis, an experimental model for psoriasis, was used to determine the anti-inflammatory effects of XN in vivo. XN treatment reduced the degree of ear thickening induced by oxazolone. Taken together, XN might be effective as an anti-inflammatory agent to reduce skin inflammation by inhibiting IL-12 production.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chronic Disease
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / drug therapy*
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / immunology
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Flavonoids / administration & dosage
  • Flavonoids / adverse effects
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / immunology
  • Interleukin-12 / metabolism*
  • Lipopolysaccharides / immunology
  • Macrophage Activation / drug effects
  • Macrophages / drug effects*
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Macrophages / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Models, Animal
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Oxazolone / administration & dosage
  • Propiophenones / administration & dosage
  • Propiophenones / adverse effects
  • Propiophenones / pharmacology*
  • Protein Binding
  • Psoriasis / drug therapy*
  • Psoriasis / immunology


  • Flavonoids
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • NF-kappa B
  • Propiophenones
  • Oxazolone
  • Interleukin-12
  • Interferon-gamma
  • xanthohumol