Gallic acid is the major active component of cortex moutan in inhibiting immune maturation of human monocyte-derived dendritic cells

Ben Chung Lap Chan, Long Fei Li, Shui Qing Hu, Elaine Wat, Eric Chun Wai Wong, Vanilla Xin Zhang, Clara Bik San Lau, Chun Kwok Wong, Kam Lun Ellis Hon, Patrick Chi Leung Hui, Ping Chung Leung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a widely prevalent and chronically relapsing inflammatory skin disease. Penta Herbs Formula (PHF) is efficacious in improving the quality of life and reducing topical corticosteroid used in children with AD and one of the active herbs it contains is Cortex Moutan. Recent studies showed that altered functions of dendritic cells (DC) were observed in atopic individuals, suggesting that DC might play a major role in the generation and maintenance of inflammation by their production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Hence, the aims of the present study were to identify the major active component(s) of Cortex Moutan, which might inhibit DC functions and to investigate their possible interactions with conventional corticosteroid on inhibiting the development of DC from monocytes. Monocyte-derived dendritic cells (moDC) culture model coupled with the high-speed counter-current chromatography (HSCCC), high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) and Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (LCMS) analyses were used. Gallic acid was the major active component from Cortex Moutan which could dose dependently inhibit interleukin (IL)-12 p40 and the functional cluster of differentiation (CD) surface markers CD40, CD80, CD83 and CD86 expression from cytokine cocktail-activated moDC. Gallic acid could also lower the concentration of hydrocortisone required to inhibit the activation of DC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16388-16403
Number of pages16
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Cortex Moutan
  • Dendritic cells
  • Gallic acid
  • High-speed counter-current chromatography
  • Penta Herb Formula

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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