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PLoS One. 2014 Jun 5;9(6):e99086. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0099086. eCollection 2014.

Coriandrum sativum L. (Coriander) essential oil: antifungal activity and mode of action on Candida spp., and molecular targets affected in human whole-genome expression.

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Pharmacology, Anesthesiology and Therapeutics, Department of Physiological Sciences, Piracicaba Dental School, State University of Campinas, Piracicaba, SP, Brazil.
Division of Periodontology, Diagnostic Sciences, and Dental Hygiene and the Division of Biomedical Sciences, Ostrow School of Dentistry, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, United States of America.
Research Center for Chemistry, Biology and Agriculture, State University of Campinas, Campinas, SP, Brazil.
Department of Agri-food Industry, Food and Nutrition, "Luiz de Queiroz" College of Agriculture, University of São Paulo, Piracicaba, SP, Brazil.
Postgraduate Program of Inter-units in Bioengineering, School of Engineering of São Carlos, University of São Paulo, São Carlos, SP, Brazil.


Oral candidiasis is an opportunistic fungal infection of the oral cavity with increasingly worldwide prevalence and incidence rates. Novel specifically-targeted strategies to manage this ailment have been proposed using essential oils (EO) known to have antifungal properties. In this study, we aim to investigate the antifungal activity and mode of action of the EO from Coriandrum sativum L. (coriander) leaves on Candida spp. In addition, we detected the molecular targets affected in whole-genome expression in human cells. The EO phytochemical profile indicates monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes as major components, which are likely to negatively impact the viability of yeast cells. There seems to be a synergistic activity of the EO chemical compounds as their isolation into fractions led to a decreased antimicrobial effect. C. sativum EO may bind to membrane ergosterol, increasing ionic permeability and causing membrane damage leading to cell death, but it does not act on cell wall biosynthesis-related pathways. This mode of action is illustrated by photomicrographs showing disruption in biofilm integrity caused by the EO at varied concentrations. The EO also inhibited Candida biofilm adherence to a polystyrene substrate at low concentrations, and decreased the proteolytic activity of Candida albicans at minimum inhibitory concentration. Finally, the EO and its selected active fraction had low cytotoxicity on human cells, with putative mechanisms affecting gene expression in pathways involving chemokines and MAP-kinase (proliferation/apoptosis), as well as adhesion proteins. These findings highlight the potential antifungal activity of the EO from C. sativum leaves and suggest avenues for future translational toxicological research.

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