Abstract Title:

Ethyl acetate fraction of the root of Rubia cordifolia L. inhibits keratinocyte proliferation in vitro and promotes keratinocyte differentiation in vivo: potential application for psoriasis treatment.

Abstract Source:

Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2004 Mar-Apr;21(2):95-104. PMID: 19960426

Abstract Author(s):

Z X Lin, B W Jiao, C T Che, Z Zuo, C F Mok, M Zhao, W K K Ho, W P Tse, K Y Lam, R Q Fan, Z J Yang, C H K Cheng

Article Affiliation:

School of Chinese Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong, China. linzx@cuhk.edu.hk


Psoriasis is a skin disease associated with hyperproliferation and aberrant differentiation of keratinocytes. Our previous studies have identified the root of Rubia cordifolia L. as a potent antiproliferative and apoptogenic agent in cultured HaCaT cells (IC(50) 1.4 microg/ml). In the present study, ethanolic extract of Radix Rubiae was fractioned sequentially with hexane, ethyl acetate (EA), n-butanol and water. EA fraction was found to possess most potent antiproliferative action on HaCaT cells (IC(50) 0.9 microg/ml). Mechanistic study revealed that EA fraction induced apoptosis on HaCaT cells, as it was capable of inducing apoptotic morphological changes. Annexin V-PI staining assay also demonstrated that EA fraction significantly augmented HaCaT apoptosis. In addition, EA fraction decreased mitochondrial membrane potential in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. The standardized EA fraction was formulated into topical gel and its keratinocyte-modulating action was tested on mouse tail model. EA fraction dose-dependently increased the number and thickness of granular layer and epidermal thickness on mouse tail skin, indicative of the keratinocyte differentiation-inducing activity. Taking the in vitro and in vivo findings together, the present preclinical study confirms that EA fraction is a promising antipsoriatic agent warranting further development for psoriasis treatment.

Study Type : Animal Study
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