Atopic dermatitis is a severe, chronic relapsing inflammatory disease of the skin with family clustering. It is characterized into acute phase, which is dominated by T helper 2-type immune responses, and chronic phase, which is dominated by T helper 1-type immune responses. Studies have shown that 3,3'-diindolylmethane not only has antitumor effects but also can relieve symptoms of inflammatory diseases by inhibiting the nuclear factor-κB signaling pathway and regulating T cell differentiation. To study the effect of 3,3'-diindolylmethane on atopic dermatitis and the underlying mechanism, a mouse model of acute atopic dermatitis was established using 2,4-dinitrofluorobenzene. After intraperitoneal injection of 3,3'-diindolylmethane, skin erythema and edema in mice were significantly alleviated. Furthermore, 3,3'-diindolylmethane reduced immune activation, probably by inhibiting the secretion of thymic stromal lymphopoietin by keratinocytes. 3,3'-Diindolylmethane also promoted the differentiation of regulatory T cells and inhibited the activation of T helper 2 and T helper 17 cells to reduce atopic dermatitis-related immune responses. However, it showed no significant effect on the differentiation of T helper 1 cells. These results indicate that 3,3'-diindolylmethane has a significant inhibitory effect on T helper 2 cells in the acute phase of atopic dermatitis. Our findings may provide not only more insights into the pathological mechanism of AD, but also a new candidate medicine for it.
Keywords: 3,3'-Diindolylmethane; Atopic dermatitis; Regulatory T cell; T-helper cell; Thymic stromal lymphopoietin.
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