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J Food Sci. 2010 Apr;75(3):H87-92. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2010.01541.x.

Anti-inflammatory effects of limonene from yuzu (Citrus junos Tanaka) essential oil on eosinophils.

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Dept. of Environmental Medicine, Kochi Medical School, Kohasu, Oko, Nankoku, Kochi 783-8505, Japan.


Yuzu (Citrus junos Tanaka) has been used as a traditional medicine in Japan. We investigated in vitro anti-inflammatory effects of limonene from yuzu peel on human eosinophilic leukemia HL-60 clone 15 cells. To examine anti-inflammatory effects of limonene on the cells, we measured the level of reactive oxygen species (ROS), monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), nuclear factor (NF) kappa B, and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK). We found that low concentration of limonene (7.34 mmol/L) inhibited the production of ROS for eotaxin-stimulated HL-60 clone 15 cells. 14.68 mmol/L concentration of limonene diminished MCP-1 production via NF-kappa B activation comparable to the addition of the proteasomal inhibitor MG132. In addition, it inhibited cell chemotaxis in a p38 MAPK dependent manner similar to the adding of SB203580. These results suggest that limonene may have potential anti-inflammatory efficacy for the treatment of bronchial asthma by inhibiting cytokines, ROS production, and inactivating eosinophil migration.

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