Kaempferia parviflora Extract as a Potential Anti-Acne Agent with Anti-Inflammatory, Sebostatic and Anti- Propionibacterium acnes Activity

Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Nov 3;19(11):3457. doi: 10.3390/ijms19113457.


Kaempferia parviflora, referred to as black ginger, has traditionally been used as a health-promoting alternative medicine. In this study, we examined the anti-inflammatory, sebostatic, and anti-Propionibacterium acnes activities of K. parviflora extract. The extract significantly down-regulated the expression of inducible NO synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), and pro-inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) level. Moreover, the phosphorylation of IĸBα and nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB), and the enhanced nuclear translocation of NF-κB p65 in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated murine macrophage-like cell line (RAW 264.7) cells were markedly decreased by the extract. Notably, the main component of K. parviflora, 5,7-dimethoxyflavone, also modulated the expression of iNOS and NF-κB signal molecules in P. acnes-stimulated human keratinocyte (HaCaT) cells. Additionally, K. parviflora extract inhibited the lipogenesis of sebocytes, as evidenced by a reduced level of triglyceride and lipid accumulation in the sebocytes. The sebostatic effect was also confirmed by a reduced expression of peroxisome proliferation-activating receptors (PPAR-γ) and oil-red O staining in sebocytes. Taken together, this study suggests for the first time that K. parviflora extract could be developed as a potential natural anti-acne agent with anti-inflammatory, sebostatic, and anti-P. acnes activity.

Keywords: Kaempferia parviflora; anti-P. acnes effect; anti-inflammation; sebostatic effect.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / isolation & purification
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / isolation & purification
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 / genetics
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 / metabolism
  • Flavonoids / isolation & purification
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Keratinocytes / cytology
  • Keratinocytes / drug effects*
  • Keratinocytes / metabolism
  • Lipopolysaccharides / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology
  • Mice
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • NF-KappaB Inhibitor alpha / genetics
  • NF-KappaB Inhibitor alpha / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II / genetics
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II / metabolism
  • PPAR gamma / genetics
  • PPAR gamma / metabolism
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Propionibacterium acnes / drug effects*
  • Propionibacterium acnes / growth & development
  • RAW 264.7 Cells
  • Transcription Factor RelA / genetics
  • Transcription Factor RelA / metabolism
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / genetics
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism
  • Zingiberaceae / chemistry*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Flavonoids
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • PPAR gamma
  • Plant Extracts
  • Transcription Factor RelA
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • NF-KappaB Inhibitor alpha
  • 5,7-dimethoxyflavone
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II
  • Nos2 protein, mouse
  • Ptgs2 protein, mouse
  • Cyclooxygenase 2