Anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects of polysaccharide extracted from Wuguchong (maggot) on 2,4-dinitrochlorobenzene-induced atopic dermatitis in mice
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is an inflammatory, heterogeneous, chronic skin disorder characterized by recurrent eczematous lesions and intense pruritus, and the pathophysiology mechanism of AD is known for immune dysregulation and inflammatory responses. Wuguchong (maggot) has been widely used in the wound field and found with pharmacological properties of the anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory function. Recently, some polysaccharides were proven to have beneficial effects on AD skin lesions in mice and humans. However, the effect of the polysaccharide extracted from Wuguchong (PEW) on AD remains to be investigated. In the present study, we examined the anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects of PEW on AD and explored the potential mechanisms. Balb/c mice were orally administrated with PEW to evaluate the therapeutic effect of PEW on 2,4-dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB)-induced AD. Oral PEW administration significantly ameliorated the lesions and symptoms in AD mice, such as the ear thickness and ear swelling degree, epidermal and dermal thickness, and the infiltration of mast cells. In addition, PEW treatment decreased the levels of serum IgE and histamine, the frequencies of Th1 and Th17 cells, as well as the mRNA expression levels of Th1 and Th17 cytokines and nuclear transcript factors (IFN-γ, T-bet, IL-17A, and ROR-rt). Furthermore, the activation of the NF-κB pathway and the phosphorylation of MAPKs (p38, ERK, and JNK) were significantly suppressed by PEW treatment. Taken together, our study suggests that PEW exerts anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects through inhibition of Th1 and Th17 responses and downregulation of NF-κB and MAPK pathways, PEW would be developed as a promising immune therapy for AD.