Persimmon leaf extracts (PLE) have been widely used as a traditional medicine in East Asian countries. The effects of persimmon leaves, including antioxidant, antiinflammatory, hypotensive, and anti-allergy effects, have been investigated; however, there is little evidence on the inhibition of T cell activation in vitro and effects on T cell-related diseases, such as atopic dermatitis (AD), in vivo by persimmon leaves. PLE (50 μg/mL) effectively attenuated the mRNA levels of IL-2 in Jurkat T cells stimulated with PMA/A23187 and Staphylococcus enterotoxin E-loaded Raji B cells without causing cytotoxicity. In Jurkat T cells stimulated with PMA/A23187, treatment with 50 μg/mL PLE blocked the translocation of p65 and IκBα degradation. Moreover, the JNK signaling pathway in Jurkat T cells stimulated with PMA/A23187 was affected by treatment with PLE. The oral administration of PLE markedly attenuated AD manifestations in mice, including ear thickness, IgE levels, and lymph node sizes. These results indicate PLE significantly blocked T cell activation via NF-κB signaling and the JNK pathway. This suggests underlying mechanisms of PLE involving the control of effector cytokines produced by activated T cells in ear tissue and lymph nodes, as well as the infiltration of mast cells and the therapeutic potential of AD.
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