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Anti-inflammatory efficacy of Licochalcone A: correlation of clinical potency and in vitro effects


Licochalcone A (LicA), a major phenolic constituent of the licorice species Glycyrrhiza inflata, has recently been reported to have anti-inflammatory as well as anti-microbial effects. These anti-inflammatory properties might be exploited for topical applications of LicA. We conducted prospective randomized vehicle-controlled clinical trials to assess the anti-irritative efficacy of cosmetic formulations containing LicA in a post-shaving skin irritation model and on UV-induced erythema formation. The clinical trials were accompanied by a series of in vitro experiments to characterize anti-inflammatory properties of LicA on several dermatologically relevant cell types. Topical LicA causes a highly significant reduction in erythema relative to the vehicle control in both the shave- and UV-induced erythema tests, demonstrating the anti-irritative properties of LicA. Furthermore, LicA is a potent inhibitor of pro-inflammatory in vitro responses, including N-formyl-MET-LEU-PHE (fMLP)- or zymosan-induced oxidative burst of granulocytes, UVB-induced PGE2 release by keratinocytes, lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced PGE2 release by adult dermal fibroblasts, fMLP-induced LTB4 release by granulocytes, and LPS-induced IL-6/TNF-α secretion by monocyte-derived dendritic cells. The reported data suggest therapeutic skin care benefits from LicA when applied to sensitive or irritated skin.

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Immature dendritic cell


Licochalcone A




3-[4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide


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Correspondence to Ludger Kolbe.

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Kolbe, L., Immeyer, J., Batzer, J. et al. Anti-inflammatory efficacy of Licochalcone A: correlation of clinical potency and in vitro effects. Arch Dermatol Res 298, 23–30 (2006).

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  • Anti-inflammatory agents
  • Non-steroidal
  • Clinical trial
  • Dermatologic agents
  • Allergy and immunology
  • Licochalcone A