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Biomed Pharmacother. 2018 Sep;105:652-661. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2018.06.027. Epub 2018 Jun 11.

α-Terpineol reduces cancer pain via modulation of oxidative stress and inhibition of iNOS.

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Department of Physiology, Federal University of Sergipe, São Cristovão, SE, Brazil.
Department of Nutrition, Federal University of Sergipe, São Cristovão, SE, Brazil.
Federal University of Paraíba, João Pessoa, Paraíba, Brazil.
University of Tiradentes, Aracaju, SE, Brazil.
Department of Health Education, Federal University of Sergipe, Lagarto, SE, Brazil. Electronic address:


α-Terpineol (TP) is present in a wide range of essential oils of the genus Eucalyptus, with recognized potential for a range of biological effects, such as analgesic. Hence, our study aimed to investigate the effect of TP on cancer pain induced by sarcoma 180 in Swiss mice. Our results showed that TP reduced significantly mechanical hyperalgesia and spontaneous and palpation-induced nociception, improved paw use without reducing tumor growth and grip strength. Importantly, no evident biochemical and hematological toxicity was oberved. Furthermore, TP increased the tissue antioxidant capacity due to ferric-reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) and glutathione (GSH). TP also reduced inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) immunocontent in the tumors. Molecular docking estimated that TP binds within the same range of iNOS regions (other iNOS inhibitors), such as N-Nitroarginine methyl ester (L-NAME). These data provide strong evidence that TP may be an interesting candidate for the development of new safe analgesic drugs that are effective for cancer pain control.


Monoterpenes; Oncologic pain; Oxidative stress; α-Terpineol

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