Article Publish Status: FREE
Abstract Title:

18β-Glycyrrhetinic acid induces human HaCaT keratinocytes apoptosis through ROS-mediated PI3K-Akt signaling pathway and ameliorates IMQ-induced psoriasis-like skin lesions in mice.

Abstract Source:

BMC Pharmacol Toxicol. 2020 06 3 ;21(1):41. Epub 2020 Jun 3. PMID: 32493482

Abstract Author(s):

Jintao Gao, Junfan Guo, Yuejuan Nong, Wenfei Mo, Huanan Fang, Jing Mi, Qi Qi, Mengjuan Yang

Article Affiliation:

Jintao Gao


BACKGROUND: Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease affecting 2-3% of the population worldwide. Hyperproliferative keratinocytes were thought to be an amplifier of inflammatory response, thereby sustaining persistence of psoriasis lesions. Agents with the ability to inhibit keratinocyte proliferation or induce apoptosis are potentially useful for psoriasis treatment. 18β-Glycyrrhetinic acid (GA), an active metabolite of glycyrrhizin, exhibits diverse pharmacological activities, including anti-inflammatory, anti-bacteria and anti-proliferation. The current study aims to evaluate the effects of GA on the proliferation and apoptosis of human HaCaT keratinocytes in vitro and investigate the effects of GA on the skin lesions of imiquimod (IMQ)-induced psoriasis-like mouse model in vivo.

METHODS: Cell viability was assayed by CCK-8. Flow cytometry was performed to measure apoptosis and reactive oxygen species (ROS), with Annexin V-FITC/PI detection kit and DCFH-DA probe respectively. Caspase 9/3 activities were measured using caspase activity assay kits. The protein levels of Akt and p-Akt were determined using Western blotting. IMQ was applied to induce psoriasis-like skin lesions in mice. The histological change in mouse skin lesions was detected using hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining. The severity of skin lesions was scored based on Psoriasis Area Severity Index (PASI). RT-PCR was employed to examine the relative expression of TNF-α, IL-22 and IL-17A in mouse skin lesions.

RESULTS: GA decreased HaCaT keratinocytes viability and induced cell apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner. In the presence of GA, intracellular ROS levels were significantly elevated. NAC, a ROS inhibitor, attenuated GA-mediated HaCaT keratinocytes growth inhibition and apoptosis. In addition, GA treatment remarkably decreased p-Akt protein level, which could be restored partially when cells were co-treated with GA and NAC. LY294002 (a PI3K inhibitor) treatment significantly enhanced GA-mediated cytotoxicity. Moreover, GA ameliorated IMQ-induced psoriasis-like skin lesions in mice.

CONCLUSIONS: GA inhibits proliferation and induces apoptosis in HaCaT keratinocytes through ROS-mediated inhibition of PI3K-Akt signaling pathway, and ameliorates IMQ-induced psoriasis-like skin lesions in mice.

Study Type : Animal Study

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Sayer Ji
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