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Nutr Neurosci. 2006 Feb-Apr;9(1-2):73-80.

Flavor components of monoterpenes in citrus essential oils enhance the release of monoamines from rat brain slices.

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Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan, University of Shizuoka, Suruga-ku, Japan.


Citrus essential oils have been utilized widely in traditional medicine, and there are various reports of actions such as effects on behavior and effects on pain stimulation response due to exposure. However, there are no reports concerning effects on neurotransmitters after ingestion, and uptake within the brain. We used brain tissue slices to investigate the effect of compounds in lemon essential oil on monoamine release. We investigated R-limonene, gamma-terpinene and citral, major components of lemon essential oil; S-limonene, an isomer of R-limonene and metabolites of these compounds. The effect of each compound on monoamine release from brain tissue slices was found to be dose-dependent. R-Limonene and its S-isomer demonstrated differences with regard to monoamine release from brain tissue. S-Limonene and its metabolites were found to have a stronger effect than the R-isomer. Limonene metabolites taken up in vivo were also found to have a stronger effect on monoamine release than both the R-form and the S-form. In an investigation of dopamine release using stratum slices, terpinene and pinene demonstrated no clear differences in activity attributable to isomers. However, rho-cymene, a gamma-terpinene metabolite, was found to have a stronger effect than gamma-terpinene. These results suggest that the metabolites of these monoterpene compounds contained in citrus essential oils have a stronger effect on monoamine release from brain tissue than the monoterpene compounds themselves.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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