Tocotrienol (unsaturated vitamin E) suppresses degranulation of mast cells and reduces allergic dermatitis in mice

J Oleo Sci. 2013;62(10):825-34. doi: 10.5650/jos.62.825.


In this study, we examined whether tocotrienol (T3) reduces allergic dermatitis in mice and suppresses degranulation of mast cells. First, allergic dermatitis was examined in the atopic dermatitis model NC/Nga mouse. Allergic dermatitis was induced using picryl chloride in mice with and without administration of T3 (1 mg/day/mouse). Increases in scratching behavior, dermal thickening, and the serum histamine level were greatly reduced in mice treated with T3, indicating that T3 reduces allergic dermatitis in vivo. Next, the effect of T3 on degranulation of mast cells was examined, since these cells release bioactive substances such as histamine. T3 significantly suppressed degranulation of mast cells and significantly reduced histamine release. The effect of T3 on protein kinase C (PKC) activity was also measured, since suppression of this activity may be associated with the mechanism underlying the antidegranulation effect of T3. T3 significantly suppressed PKC activity. Therefore, we conclude that T3 suppresses degranulation of mast cells and reduces allergic dermatitis in mice through reduction of PKC activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Degranulation / drug effects*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Depression, Chemical
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / chemically induced
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / drug therapy*
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / pathology
  • Dermis / pathology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Histamine Release / drug effects
  • Male
  • Mast Cells / enzymology
  • Mast Cells / metabolism
  • Mast Cells / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Picryl Chloride
  • Protein Kinase C / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Tocotrienols / pharmacology*
  • Tocotrienols / therapeutic use*
  • Vitamins / pharmacology*
  • Vitamins / therapeutic use*


  • Tocotrienols
  • Vitamins
  • Protein Kinase C
  • Picryl Chloride