Regulatory T Cell Induced by Poria cocos Bark Exert Therapeutic Effects in Murine Models of Atopic Dermatitis and Food Allergy.
Mediators Inflamm. 2016 ;2016:3472608. Epub 2016 Jun 29. PMID: 27445434
The prevalence of allergic disorders including atopic dermatitis (AD) and food allergy (FA) has increased dramatically in pediatric populations, but there is no effective drug available for their management. Therefore, trials are required for the development of safe therapeutic agents such as herbal medicines. We determined whether orally administered Poria cocos bark (PCB) extract could exert immunosuppressive effects on allergic and inflammatory symptoms of AD and FA. For both AD, which was induced using house dust mite extract, and FA, which was induced by exposure to ovalbumin, model mice were orally treated with PCB extract for 62 days and 18 days, respectively. We also investigated the inductive effect of PCB extract on the generation and maintenance of Foxp3(+)CD4(+) regulatory T cells (Tregs). The symptoms of AD and FA were ameliorated by the administration of PCB extract. Furthermore, PCB extract inhibited the Th2-related cytokines and increased the population of Foxp3(+)CD4(+) Tregs in both AD and FA models. In ex vivo experiments, PCB extract promoted the functional differentiation of Foxp3(+)CD4(+) Tregs, which is dependent on aryl hydrocarbon receptor activation. Thus, PCB extract has potential as an oral immune suppressor for the treatment of AD and FA through the generation of Tregs.