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Biomed Chromatogr. 2013 Jul;27(7):938-45. doi: 10.1002/bmc.2887. Epub 2013 Apr 30.

Isolation of volatiles from Nigella sativa seeds using microwave-assisted extraction: effect of whole extracts on canine and murine CYP1A.

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The Key Laboratory of Food Colloids and Biotechnology, Ministry of Education, School of Chemical and Material Engineering, Jiangnan University, 1800 Lihu Avenue, Wuxi, 214122, China.


The volatile components of Nigella sativa seeds were isolated using microwave-assisted extraction (MAE) and identified using gas chromatography. Further investigations were carried out to demonstrate the effects of whole extracts on canine (dog) and murine (rat) cytochrome P450 1A (CYP1A). The optimal extraction conditions of MAE were as follows: 25 mL of water, medium level of microwave oven power and 10 min of extraction time. A total of 32 compounds were identified under the conditions using GC-FID and GC-MS. Thymoquinone (38.23%), p-cymene (28.61%), 4-isopropyl-9-methoxy-1-methyl-1-cyclohexene (5.74%), longifolene (5.33%), α-thujene (3.88) and carvacol (2.31%) were the main compounds emitted from N. sativa seeds. Various extracts including pure compounds, essential oil, nonpolar partition, relatively high-polar/nonpolar partition, and polar partition extracts effectively inhibited the reaction of ethoxyresorufin O-de-ethylation, which is specified for CYP1A activity both in dog and rat. This in vitro data should be heeded as a signal of possible in vivo interactions. The use of human liver preparations would considerably strengthen the practical impact of the data generated from this study.

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