Original Article| Volume 160, ISSUE 2, P137-145, August 2012

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Cantharidin-induced inflammation in mouse ear model for translational research of novel anti-inflammatories

Published:February 27, 2012DOI:
      The murine model of cantharidin-induced ear inflammation was profiled in detail for its alignment with the human model and to explore the mechanism of anti-inflammatory activity of the macrolide antibiotics, clarithromycin and azithromycin. Ear swelling in CD1 mice persisted for 7 days, with peak intensity at 16 h after inflammation induction. As in humans, cantharidin (12.5 μg/ear) generated macrophage-inflammatory protein (MIP)-2, monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1, keratinocyte-derived chemokine (KC), interleukin (IL)-6, IL-1β, and myeloperoxidase (MPO) production, as well as neutrophil accumulation in mouse ear tissue. The tested macrolides, clarithromycin and azithromycin, administered orally (2 × 150 mg/kg) 0.5 h before and 5 h after cantharidin challenge, reduced MIP-2, MCP-1, KC, and MPO concentrations and thereby decreased ear swelling. Our results suggest that cantharidin-induced acute inflammation represents an excellent model for translational research of novel anti-inflammatories.


      ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay), ENA-78 (epithelial cell-derived neutrophil attractant-78), GM-CSF (granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor), GRO-α (growth-related oncogene-α), IL (interleukin), KC (keratinocyte-derived chemokine), LPS (lipopolysaccharide), MCP-1 (monocyte chemoattractant protein-1), MIP-2 (macrophage-inflammatory protein-2), MPO (myeloperoxidase), OXA (oxazolone), PBS (phosphate buffered saline), TNF-α (tumor necrosis factor-α)
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