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Papers of the Week

2022 Aug 17

Int J Mol Sci



Unveiling the Ability of Witch Hazel ( L.) Bark Extract to Impair Keratinocyte Inflammatory Cascade Typical of Atopic Eczema.


Piazza S, Martinelli G, Magnavacca A, Fumagalli M, Pozzoli C, Terno M, Canilli L, Angarano M, Maranta N, Dell'Agli M, Sangiovanni E
Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Aug 17; 23(16).
PMID: 36012541.


L. bark extract is a traditional remedy for skin affections, including atopic dermatitis/eczema (AD). Hamamelis preparations contain tannins, including hamamelitannin (HT), although their pharmacological role in AD is still unknown. This study aimed to study the rational for its topical use by considering the impact of crucial biomarkers on AD pathogenesis. A standardized extract (HVE) (0.5-125 μg/mL) was compared to hamamelitannin (HT), its main compound (0.5-5 μg/mL), in a model of human keratinocytes (HaCaTs), challenged with an AD-like cytokine milieu (TNF-α, IFN-γ, and IL-4). HVE inhibited the release of mediators involved in skin autoimmunity (IL-6 and IL-17C) and allergy (TSLP, IL-6, CCL26, and MMP-9) with a concentration-dependent fashion (IC < 25 μg/mL). The biological mechanism was ascribed, at least in part, to the impairment of the NF-κB-driven transcription. Moreover, HVE counteracted the proliferative effects of IL-4 and recovered K10, a marker of skin differentiation. Notably, HT showed activity on well-known targets of IL-4 pathway (CCL26, K10, cell proliferation). To the best of our knowledge, this work represents the first demonstration of the potential role of in the control of AD symptoms, such as itch and skin barrier impairment, supporting the relevance of the whole phytocomplex.