Fermented Morinda citrifolia (Noni) Alleviates DNCB-Induced Atopic Dermatitis in NC/Nga Mice through Modulating Immune Balance and Skin Barrier Function

Nutrients. 2020 Jan 18;12(1):249. doi: 10.3390/nu12010249.


Morinda citrifolia, a fruit generally known as "Noni", has been traditionally used in parts of East Asia to relieve inflammatory diseases. Although several studies using noni have been reported, the effect of fermented Morinda citrifolia (F.NONI) on atopic dermatitis (AD) has not been investigated. Thus, we aimed to investigate the improving effect of F.NONI treatment on AD-like skin lesions and elucidate molecular mechanisms. F.NONI was prepared by the fermentation of noni fruit with probiotics and then extracted. F.NONI was orally administrated to NC/Nga mice to evaluate its therapeutic effect on 2,4-dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB)-induced AD. Oral administration of F.NONI significantly alleviated AD lesions and symptoms such as dermatitis scores, ear thickness, scratching behavior, epidermal thickness, and infiltration of inflammatory cells (e.g., mast cells and eosinophils). In addition, F.NONI treatment reduced the levels of histamine, IgE and IgG1/IgG2a ratio, thymus and activation regulated chemokine (TARC), and thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) in serum and beneficially modulated the expressions of Th1, Th2, Th17, and Th22-mediated cytokines in lesioned skin and splenocytes. Furthermore, the expressions of the skin barrier-related proteins including filaggrin (FLG), loricrin (LOR), involucrin (IVL), zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1), and occludin (OCC) were restored by F.NONI treatment. Taken together, these results suggest that F.NONI could be a therapeutic agent to attenuate AD-like skin lesions through modulating the immune balance and skin barrier function.

Keywords: NC/Nga; Th1; Th2; atopic dermatitis; fermented Morinda citrifolia; immune balance; skin barrier function.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / isolation & purification
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cytokines / blood
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / chemically induced
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / immunology
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / metabolism
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / prevention & control*
  • Dinitrochlorobenzene
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Fermentation*
  • Filaggrin Proteins
  • Fruit
  • Histamine / blood
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Intermediate Filament Proteins / metabolism
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Morinda*
  • Occludin / metabolism
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Protein Precursors / metabolism
  • Pruritus / chemically induced
  • Pruritus / immunology
  • Pruritus / metabolism
  • Pruritus / prevention & control
  • Skin / drug effects*
  • Skin / immunology
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Skin / pathology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / drug effects*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / metabolism
  • Zonula Occludens-1 Protein / metabolism


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Cytokines
  • Dinitrochlorobenzene
  • Filaggrin Proteins
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Intermediate Filament Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Occludin
  • Ocln protein, mouse
  • Plant Extracts
  • Protein Precursors
  • Tjp1 protein, mouse
  • Zonula Occludens-1 Protein
  • loricrin
  • involucrin
  • Histamine