Effects of sangre de drago in an in vitro model of cutaneous neurogenic inflammation

Exp Dermatol. 2010 Sep;19(9):796-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0625.2010.01090.x.


Sangre de drago (SD) is a viscous bright red resin collected from Croton lechleri trees that grow in the South American jungle. This sap is used extensively in the native pharmacopoeia to treat skin disorders. Its effectiveness as an inhibitor of neurogenic inflammation has been recently demonstrated. To understand the underlying mechanisms of these effects, we examined the ability of SD to reduce substance P (SP) release in an in vitro model of cutaneous neurogenic inflammation (CNI). This model is based on an enzyme immunoassay of SP (an inducer of CNI) in a porcine co-culture of dorsal root ganglion neurons and keratinocytes. After incubation with different concentrations of SD, we noted an immediate and significant dose-dependent decrease in basal SP release, with average values of 32% at 1% SD (v/v) and 26% at 0.1% (v/v). On the other hand, pretreatment (72 or 1 h) of the co-culture with 1% SD (v/v) was sufficient to induce a 111% (72 h) or 65% (1 h) inhibition of capsaicin-induced SP release, while 0.1% SD (v/v) triggered a 109% (72 h) or 30% (1 h) inhibition. We conclude that sangre de drago is a potent inhibitor of CNI through direct inhibition of neuropeptide release by sensory afferent nerves.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Capsaicin
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Coculture Techniques
  • Croton*
  • Dermatitis / drug therapy*
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Keratinocytes / drug effects
  • Male
  • Neurogenic Inflammation / drug therapy*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Sensory Receptor Cells / drug effects
  • Sensory System Agents
  • Substance P / metabolism*
  • Swine
  • Tetrazolium Salts
  • Thiazoles
  • Toxicity Tests


  • Plant Extracts
  • Sensory System Agents
  • Tetrazolium Salts
  • Thiazoles
  • Substance P
  • thiazolyl blue
  • Capsaicin