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Glycyrrhiza uralensis Flavonoids Present in Anti-Asthma Formula, ASHMITM, Inhibit Memory Th2 Responses in Vitro and in Vivo


Correspondence to: Dr. Xiu-Min Li, Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, One Gustave L. Levy Place, New York, NY 10029-6574, USA.



Allergic asthma is associated with Th2-mediated inflammation. Several flavonoids were isolated from Glycyrrhiza uralensis, one of the herbs in the anti-asthma herbal medicine intervention. The aim of this investigation was to determine whether Glycyrrhiza uralensis flavonoids have inhibitory effects on memory Th2 responses in vitro and antigen-induced Th2 inflammation in vivo. The effects of three Glycyrrhiza uralensis flavonoids on effector memory Th2 cells, D10.G4.1 (D10 cells), were determined by measuring Th2 cytokine production. Isoliquiritigenin, 7, 4′-dihydroxyflavone (7, 4′-DHF) and liquiritigenin significantly suppressed IL-4 and IL-5 production in a dose-dependent manner, 7, 4′-DHF being most potent. It was also evaluated for effects on D10 cell proliferation, GATA-3 expression and IL-4 mRNA expression, which were suppressed, with no loss of cell viability. Chronic treatment with 7, 4′-DHF in a murine model of allergic asthma not only significantly reduced eosinophilic pulmonary inflammation, serum IgE levels, IL-4 and IL-13 levels, but also increased IFN-γ production in lung cell cultures in response to antigen stimulation. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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