Transforming growth factor-bβ1 suppresses atopic dermatitis-like skin lesions in NC/Nga mice


Atsuhito Nakao, Atopy (Allergy) Research Center, Juntendo University School of Medicine, 2–1–1, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113–8421, Japan. E-mail:



Atopic dermatitis is a chronic, relapsing inflammatory disorder characterized by pruritic and eczematous skin lesions. Transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 has been implicated in the suppression of inflammatory responses.


The purpose of this study is to determine whether TGF-β1 suppresses skin lesions in a mouse model of atopic dermatitis.


We used the NC/Nga strain of mice as an in vivo model of atopic dermatitis. The effects of exogenous TGF-β1 on atopic dermatitis-like skin lesions in NC/Nga mice were evaluated clinically, histologically and immunologically.


Subcutaneous injection of recombinant TGF-β1 macroscopically suppressed eczematous skin lesions in NC/Nga mice associated with reduced serum immunoglobulin E (IgE) levels. Histological analysis showed that TGF-β1 significantly inhibited the infiltration of inflammatory cells such as mast cells and eosinophils into the skin of NC/Nga mice. Spontaneous interferon (IFN)-γ production from splenocytes of NC/Nga mice was down-regulated by the treatment with TGF-β1 and neutralizing antibody against IFN-γ inhibited skin lesions in NC/Nga mice. The inhibitory effect of TGF-β1 on the skin lesions lasted at least 1 week after cessation of the treatment.


These findings indicate that TGF-β1 suppressed atopic dermatitis-like skin lesions in NC/Nga mice at least in part through down-regulation of IFN-γ. These results suggest that TGF-β1 may have a therapeutic potential for atopic dermatitis.