Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic inflammatory skin disorder. Suppression of MAPKs and NF-κB is implicated as a vital mechanism of action of several traditional Chinese medicines for AD therapy. Although overexpression of MAPK mRNA in the skin tissue has been shown in the AD model, the roles of each MAPK in AD pathogenesis have rarely been studied. This study examined the effect of NJK14047, an inhibitor of p38 MAPKs, on AD-like skin lesions induced in BALB/c mice by sensitization and challenges with 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene (CDNB) on dorsal skin and ears, respectively. After induction of AD, NJK14047 (2.5 mg/kg) or dexamethasone (10 mg/kg) was administrated for 3 weeks via intraperitoneal injection. Following its administration, NJK14047 suppressed CDNB-induced AD-like symptoms such as skin hypertrophy and suppressed mast cell infiltration into the skin lesions. It also reduced CDNB-induced increase in TH2 cytokine (IL-13) and TH1 cytokines (interferon-γ and IL-12A) levels but did not decrease serum IgE level. Furthermore, NJK14047 blocked CDNB-induced lymph node enlargement. These results suggest that NJK14047, a p38 MAPK inhibitor, might be an optimal therapeutic option with unique modes of action for AD treatment.
Keywords: Atopy; Dermatitis; Immunopharmacology; NJK14047; p38 MAPK.