In this study, we investigated the effects of an aqueous extract of peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) seed skin (PSE) and its main constituent procyanidin A1 (PA) on the allergic response to allergen ovalbumin (OVA) in a mouse model. Mice immunized interaperitoneally with OVA dramatically increased anti-OVA IgE and total IgG1 levels in serum compared with non-treated control mice. Oral injection of PSE at doses ranging from 10 to 100 mg/kg/d (for 21 consecutive days) decreased anti-OVA IgE and IgG1 levels 21 d after OVA-immunization. OVA-induced increments in spleen weight and peripheral white blood cell count were also suppressed by this PSE administration. Polyphenol-enriched fractions from apple (30 mg/kg) and grape seed (30 mg/kg) also decreased anti-OVA IgE level but did not affect total IgG1 levels. Oral injection of PA (1 to 10 mg/kg/d) purified from PSE resulted in a suppression of IgE and total IgG1 levels in serum. An increment of serum interleukin-4 level in mice that were immunized with OVA was reduced by all tested samples, whereas PSE and PA were the only compounds that could reverse the reduced interferon-gamma level by OVA. These findings suggest that intake of PSE or its main active constituent PA may prevent an allergic reaction by inhibiting immunoglobulin synthesis, and the mechanism of this action of PSE and PA is in part due to their regulation of T helper cytokine production.
2007 The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan