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Inflamm Res. 2014 Sep;63(9):769-78. doi: 10.1007/s00011-014-0749-x. Epub 2014 Jun 20.

Terpinen-4-ol and alpha-terpineol (tea tree oil components) inhibit the production of IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-10 on human macrophages.

Author information

1
Department of Diagnosis and Surgery, School of Dentistry Araraquara, UNESP, Araraquara, SP, Brazil, nicolenogueira2@yahoo.com.br.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Tea tree oil (TTO) is an essential oil with anti-inflammatory properties, steam distilled from the plant Melaleuca alternifolia. We investigated the immunomodulatory properties of TTO and its components (terpinen-4-ol and alpha-terpineol) using lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated macrophages.

METHODS:

The ability of TTO, terpinen-4-ol and alpha-terpineol to modulate the macrophage response to bacterial LPS stimulation was assessed by ELISA for tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6 and IL-10 cytokine production and by western blotting for the activation of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling, which are associated with the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines. We used a human monocytic cell line (U937) differentiated into macrophages.

RESULTS:

LPS induced the production of all cytokines, and TTO and its components significantly reduced the production of IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-10. The production of TNF-α was not affected by either TTO or its major components. The modulation of cytokine production was not mediated by changes in NF-κB or p38 MAPK activation.

CONCLUSION:

TTO, terpinen-4-ol and alpha-terpineol can suppress the production of inflammatory mediators in LPS-stimulated human macrophages; this inhibition was mediated by interfering with the NF-kB, p38 or ERK MAPK pathways.

PMID:
24947163
DOI:
10.1007/s00011-014-0749-x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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