Study on the antipruritic mechanism of Zanthoxylum bungeanum and Zanthoxylum schinifolium volatile oil on chronic eczema based on H1R and PAR-2 mediated GRPR pathway

Main Article Content

Xiang Lu Zhou
Le Le Chen
Jia Feng Wang


chronic eczema, pruritus, Zanthoxylum bungeanum, Zanthoxylum schinifolium, volatile oil


Objective: To observe the antipruritic effect and mechanism of the volatile oil of Zanthoxylum bungeanum and Zanthoxylum schinifolium on chronic eczema to provide data support for clinical application and new drug development of Zanthoxylum bungeanum and Zanthoxylum schinifolium.

Methods: The model of chronic eczema was established by using 2-dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB), and the composition and content of volatile oil in Zanthoxylum schinifolium and Zanthoxylum bungeanum was determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The antipruritic effect by (EASI) score of eczema area and severity index and scratching times was then evaluated. Then, the contents of histamine, gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP), interleukin-4 (IL-4), and immunoglobulin E (IgE) in serum of rats was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The tissue morphology was observed by HE staining. The expressions of H1R, PAR-2, TRPV1, TRPA1, and GRPR was then detected by immunohistochemistry, Western blot, and QRT-PCR.

Results: The results revealed that there were differences in the composition of volatile oil between Zanthoxylum bungeanum and Zanthoxylum schinifolium. Compared to the model group, the medium-dose group of Zanthoxylum bungeanum and Zanthoxylum schinifolium group significantly increased the difference of EASI score and scratching times, significantly decreased the concentrations of IL-4, IgE, GRP, and histamine, and significantly decreased the expression levels of H1R, PAR-2, TRPV1, and GRPR. The degree of inhibition on the pathological manifestations of chronic eczema was evident. There was no significant difference in antipruritic effect between the two groups. The expression of TRPA1 was inconsistent at the protein and gene level, which needs to be further researched.

Conclusion: The volatile oil of Zanthoxylum bungeanum and Zanthoxylum schinifolium can reduce the expression of H1R, PAR-2, TRPV1, and GRPR. The mechanism may be through the H1R and PAR-2-mediated GRPR pathway intervention to achieve the effect, both of which have the same antipruritic effect.

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