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Food Chem Toxicol. 2010 Jun;48(6):1568-75. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2010.03.026. Epub 2010 Mar 21.

Supercritical fluid extraction of oregano (Origanum vulgare) essentials oils: anti-inflammatory properties based on cytokine response on THP-1 macrophages.

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Departamento de Química- Física Aplicada, Area de Tecnología de los Alimentos, Facultad Ciencias, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain.


Two fractions (S1 and S2) of an oregano (Origanum vulgare) extract obtained by supercritical fluid extraction have been used to test anti-inflammatory effects on activated human THP-1 cells. The main compounds present in the supercritical extract fractions of oregano were trans-sabinene hydrate, thymol and carvacrol. Fractions toxicity was assessed using the mitochondrial-respiration-dependent 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium (MTT) reduction method for several concentrations during 24 and 48 h of incubation. Concentrations higher than 30 microg/mL of both supercritical S1 and S2 oregano fractions caused a reduction in cell viability in a dose-dependent manner. Oxidized-LDLs (oxLDLs) activated THP-1 macrophages were used as cellular model of atherogenesis and the release/secretion of cytokines (TNT-alpha, IL-1beta, IL-6 and IL-10) and their respective mRNA expressions were quantified both in presence or absence of supercritical oregano extracts. The results showed a decrease in pro-inflammatory TNF-alpha, IL-1beta and IL-6 cytokines synthesis, as well as an increase in the production of anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10. These results may suggest an anti-inflammatory effect of oregano extracts and their compounds in a cellular model of atherosclerosis.

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