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Subacute oral administration of folic acid elicits anti-inflammatory response in a mouse model of allergic dermatitis

Makino, Emi, Fukuyama, Tomoki, Watanabe, Yuko, Tajiki-Nishino, Risako, Tajima, Hitoshi, Ohnuma-Koyama, Aya, Takahashi, Naofumi, Ohtsuka, Ryoichi, Okazaki, Yoshimasa
The Journal of nutritional biochemistry 2019 v.67 pp. 14-19
T-lymphocytes, anemia, animal models, blood serum, cell proliferation, cytokines, dermatitis, dose response, ears, folic acid, haptens, histology, lymph nodes, mice, neural tube defects, oral administration
Folic acid (FA) deficiency is associated with several health problems, including megaloblastic anemia and fetal neural tube defects. Therefore, supplementation with FA is strongly recommended by governments worldwide. Recent published reports indicate that FA functions in immune system maintenance. The main objective of this study is to examine possible anti-inflammatory and antipruritic effects of FA using a mouse model of allergic dermatitis. The mouse model was developed by repetitive sensitization to the Th2-type hapten toluene-2,4-diisocyanate (TDI). During the development of allergic dermatitis, FA was orally administered to the mice at doses of 8, 160, 1000 or 10,000 μg/day for 5 weeks. The ear swelling response and scratching behavior were monitored after the TDI challenge. Serum, ear tissue and auricular lymph node samples were isolated for further analysis 24 h after the TDI challenge. The ear swelling response was reduced in a dose-dependent manner by FA administration, and a significant change was observed at a concentration of 10,000-μg/day group. Comparable results were obtained through histological evaluation and cytokine level measurement in the ear tissue samples. Oral administration of FA exhibited the inhibitory effect on T-cell infiltration and T-cell-related cytokine production in auricular lymph nodes. Scratching behavior was not altered by FA administration. The in vivo evidence was corroborated by in vitro results, which showed that FA treatment significantly interfered with T-cell proliferation in a dose-dependent manner. Our findings imply that subacute oral administration of FA elicits an anti-inflammatory response, mainly through inhibition of T-cell proliferation.