Biomol Ther.  2017 Nov;25(6):634-640. 10.4062/biomolther.2017.147.

Rifampicin Alleviates Atopic Dermatitis-Like Response in vivo and in vitro

  • 1Institute of Chronic Disease and College of Pharmacy, Sahmyook University, Seoul 01795, Republic of Korea.


Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a common inflammatory skin disorder mediated by inflammatory cells, such as macrophages and mast cells. Rifampicin is mainly used for the treatment of tuberculosis. Recently, it was reported that rifampicin has anti-inflammatory and immune-suppressive activities. In this study, we investigated the effect of rifampicin on atopic dermatitis in vivo and in vitro. AD was induced by treatment with 2, 4-dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB) in NC/Nga mice. A subset of mice was then treated with rifampicin by oral administration. The severity score and scratching behavior were alleviated in the rifampicin-treated group. Serum immunoglobulin E (IgE) and interleukin-4 (IL-4) levels were also ameliorated in mice treated with rifampicin. We next examined whether rifampicin has anti-atopic activity via suppression of mast cell activation. Rifampicin suppressed the release of β-hexosaminidase and histamine from human mast cell (HMC)-1 cultures stimulated with compound 48/80. Treatment with rifampicin also inhibited secretion of inflammatory mediators, such tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and prostaglandin D₂ (PGD₂), in mast cells activated by compound 48/80. The mRNA expression of cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) was reduced in the cells treated with rifampicin in a concentration-dependent manner. These results suggest that rifampicin can be used to treat atopic dermatitis.


Rifampicin; NC/Nga mice; Mast cell; Atopic dermatitis
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