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Application of anti-inflammatory RG92 in preventing the relapse of atopic dermatitis

Application of anti-inflammatory RG92 in preventing the relapse of atopic dermatitis

The article written by Saravio Central Laboratories Director, Kaseda Kuniyoshi on the "Anti-inflammatory effects of RG92 in the Prevention of Atopic Dermatitis" was published in the medical journal "The Allergy Practice", August 2016 (Special supplementary issue). 

This specialty magazine is a medical journal recognized in the medical circle for its medical papers on allergy treatment to which many doctors and drug developers turn to for the latest approaches that have proved to be effective. This time, the newly discovered "hot spring algae RG92" which was patented as a therapeutic / prophylactic drug for inflammatory diseases in 2015, attracted a lot of attention and the usefulness of spa algae RG 92 for atopic dermatitis was announced at the Japan Pharmaceutical Association and other venues.


Although many patients utilize spa treatments as part of the treatment procedure of atopic dermatitis, in addition to the burden of time and expenses in travelling to venues with onsens, there is no doubt that the effects and mechanisms are rarely reproducable consistently. With the discovery of RG92, a species of alga which inhabits hot springs, we discovered a new mechanism for reproducing the anti-inflammatory effects of onsens. 

These hot spring materials can be expected to play a vital part in the treatment of inflammatory dieseases and in the preventing of the relapse of atopic dermatitis.


Onsens have long been utilized for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, neuralgia, atopic dermatitis, and psoriasis. However, compared with its long history (dating back to the 8th century), the explanation of how it plays are a part in the healing of these dieseases have begun only recently. 

Atopic dermatitis is a skin disease characterized by areas of severe itching, redness, scaling, and loss of the surface of the skin. Atopic dermatitis is the most common of the many types of eczema. Atopic dermatitis is frequently associated with other allergic disorders, especially asthma and hay fever.

The treatment guidelines for Atopic Dermatitis typically include gentle skin care, medication, removal of causes and worsening factors, and anti-inflammatory drugs such as steroid drugs , immunosuppressants such as tacrolimus ointment, antihistamines, etc. It is also a fact that most patients worry about the side effects and withdrawal effects which are significant despite appropriate use while not achieving the expected effect. Nearly half of all patients have dislike the use of steroid drugs for treatment due to this reason. 

Due to such backgrounds, development of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs with safety and security and mechanisms that are appropriately effective are highly desired.

Hot Spring Algae

Having been based in the city of Beppu, a city holding the world record for the number of onsens, we analyzed hundreds of hot spring microorganisms that were collected, isolated and cultured. We found that a new particular species of algae (named RG92) has anti-inflammatory properties.

Fibroblasts were used to demonstrate how extracts of RG92 suppress the increase of a series of inflammatory cytokine genes

Upon this discovery of a possible method of improving the condition various inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, alopecia and dermatitis, a patent was filed for this amazing discovery.

The vicious cycle in atopic dermatitis

In atopic dermatitis, the vicious circle of "increase in inflammation" and the "decrease in the strength of barrier function of skin" due to itching is a serious problem, as suppression of itching is very important to prevent the worsening of this disease. 

In this disease, C fiber extends to the epidermis through the overexpressed NGF (nerve growth factor), causing severe itching. 

Hot spring algae RG 92 was found to suppress the overexpression of the NGF gene. In addition to this, the gene expression of IL-31 and histamine (pruritus/itchy feeling) inducing factor (TRPA 1), which transports/transmits pruritus centrally through C fibers, was also suppressed.

Inhibitory effects on itchiness and effect on oxidization

Therefore, it was suggested that the ingredieng, hotspring algae RG92, also had inhibitory effects on pruritus (itchiness). 

There is active oxygen present in a factor that induces a series of inflammatory mediators (Molecules that are released by immune cells during times when harmful agents invade our body.). 

In ATP synthesis in mitochondria, excessive active oxygen is produced when fusion reactions do not function well. As a result, various inflammatory factors are induced via transcription factors such as NF-κB

The reducing of the amount of active oxygen was made possible using the ingredient, hot spring algae RG92, which was observed to have caused the suppression of a series of gene expressions.

In the development of RG92, Safety and Gentleness to the skin was not to be overlooked as it was a highly demanded characteristic for people suffering from atopic dermatitis or sensitive skin. In tests (cytotoxicity test, phototoxicity test, reversion mutation test, patch test), Hot spring algae RG 92 proved negative and safety was confirmed which allowed for the successful attainment of the ecocert certification as a raw material.