Inhibition of mite-induced dermatitis, pruritus, and nerve sprouting in mice by the endothelin receptor antagonist bosentan

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Endothelin-1 (EDN1) can evoke histamine-independent pruritus in mammals and is upregulated in the lesional epidermis of atopic dermatitis (AD). EDN1 increases the production of interleukin 25 (IL-25) from keratinocytes to accelerate T helper type 2 immune deviation. Plasma EDN1 levels are positively correlated with the clinical severity and itch intensity of AD. Therefore, we hypothesized that the inhibition of EDN1 might be useful for treating atopic inflammation and itch and investigated the effects of the topical application of the EDN1 receptor antagonist bosentan on the skin inflammation and itch in a murine AD model. Methods: We analyzed the mite-induced AD-like NC/Nga murine model, which was topically applied with bosentan or ethanol control every day for 3 weeks. We also subjected in vitro primary sensory neuron culture systems to nerve elongation and branching assays after EDN1 stimulation. Results: Topical application of bosentan significantly attenuated the development of mite-induced AD-like skin inflammation, dermatitis scores, ear thickness, scratching bouts, and serum level of thymus and activation-regulated chemokine in NC/Nga mice. Bosentan application also significantly reduced the gene expression of Il13, Il17, and Ifng in the treated lesions. Histologically, the number of infiltrated dermal cells, the epidermal EDN1 expression, and the number of intraepidermal nerve fibers were significantly inhibited upon bosentan application. While EDN1 significantly elongated the neurites of dorsal root ganglion cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner, bosentan treatment attenuated this. Conclusions: EDN1 plays a significant role in mite-induced inflammation and itch. Topical bosentan is a potential protective candidate for AD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-301
Number of pages11
JournalAllergy: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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