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Original Article

Korean J Physiol Pharmacol 2024; 28(4): 303-312

Published online July 1, 2024 https://doi.org/10.4196/kjpp.2024.28.4.303

Copyright © Korean J Physiol Pharmacol.

Vinpocetine, a phosphodiesterase 1 inhibitor, mitigates atopic dermatitis-like skin inflammation

Yeon Jin Lee, Jin Yong Song, Su Hyun Lee, Yubin Lee, Kyu Teak Hwang, and Ji-Yun Lee*

Department of Pathophysiology, College of Pharmacy, Chung-Ang University, Seoul 06974, Korea

Correspondence to:Ji-Yun Lee
E-mail: jylee98@cau.ac.kr

Received: December 28, 2023; Revised: February 1, 2024; Accepted: February 3, 2024

Abstract

Atopic dermatitis (AD) is the most common inflammatory pruritic skin disease worldwide, characterized by the infiltration of multiple pathogenic T lymphocytes and histological symptoms such as epidermal and dermal thickening. This study aims to investigate the effect of vinpocetine (Vinp; a phosphodiesterase 1 inhibitor) on a 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene (DNCB)-induced AD-like model. DNCB (1%) was administered on day 1 in the AD model. Subsequently, from day 14 onward, mice in each group (Vinp-treated groups: 1 mg/kg and 2 mg/kg and dexamethasone- treated group: 2 mg/kg) were administered 100 µl of a specific drug daily, whereas 0.2% DNCB was administered every other day for 30 min over 14 days. The Vinp-treated groups showed improved Eczema Area and Severity Index scores and trans-epidermal water loss, indicating the efficacy of Vinp in improving AD and enhancing skin barrier function. Histological analysis further confirmed the reduction in hyperplasia of the epidermis and the infiltration of inflammatory cells, including macrophages, eosinophils, and mast cells, with Vinp treatment. Moreover, Vinp reduced serum concentrations of IgE, interleukin (IL)-6, IL-13, and monocyte chemotactic protein-1. The mRNA levels of IL-1β, IL-6, Thymic stromal lymphopoietin, and transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) were reduced by Vinp treatment. Reduction of TGF-β protein by Vinp in skin tissue was also observed. Collectively, our results underscore the effectiveness of Vinp in mitigating DNCB-induced AD by modulating the expression of various biomarkers. Consequently, Vinp is a promising therapeutic candidate for treating AD.

Keywords: Atopic dermatitis, Dinitrochlorobenzene, Inflammation, Phosphodiesterase inhibitors, Transforming growth factor beta