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.