Attenuation of allergic airway inflammation in a murine model of asthma by Licochalcone A

Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2013 Dec;35(6):653-61. doi: 10.3109/08923973.2013.834929. Epub 2013 Sep 12.


Context: Licochalcone A (Lico A) is a major and biogenetically characteristic chalcone isolated from the root of Xinjiang liquorice, Glycyrrhiza inflata.

Objective: We focused on investigating whether Lico A possesses distinct anti-inflammatory activity on a non-infectious mouse model of asthma, and we aimed to elucidate its involvement with the mitogen-activated protein kinases pathway.

Methods: BALB/c mice that were sensitized and challenged to ovalbumin (OVA) were treated with Lico A (50 mg/kg) 1 h before they were challenged with OVA.

Results: Our study demonstrated that Lico A may effectively inhibit the increase in T-helper type 2 cytokines, such as interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5 and IL-13 in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, and reduced serum levels of OVA-specific IgE and IgG. Furthermore, Lico A substantially inhibited OVA-induced eosinophilia in lung tissue and mucus hyper-secretion by goblet cells in the airway. Meanwhile, pretreatment with Lico A resulted in a significant reduction in mRNA expression of acidic mammalian chitinase, chitinase 3-like protein 4 (Ym2), E-selectin, Muc5ac, CCL11 and CCR3 in lung tissues and airway hyper-responsiveness to methacholine.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that Lico A may effectively delay the progression of airway inflammation and could be used as a therapy for patients with allergic airway inflammation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / pharmacology*
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Asthma / metabolism
  • Asthma / pathology
  • Chalcones / pharmacology*
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Immunoglobulin E / metabolism
  • Immunoglobulin G / metabolism
  • Lung / metabolism
  • Lung / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Receptors, CCR3 / metabolism


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Ccr3 protein, mouse
  • Chalcones
  • Cytokines
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Receptors, CCR3
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • licochalcone A