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J Dent Res. 1986 Jan;65(1):53-6.

Pharmacological studies on the anti-inflammatory action of phenolic compounds.


The mechanism of the anti-inflammatory action of phenolic compounds was examined using neutrophil chemotaxis. Chemotactic activity of guinea pig peritoneal neutrophils to N-formylmethionyl-leucylphenylalanine (FMLP) was suppressed in a concentration-dependent manner. The order of drug potency in inhibiting the neutrophil chemotaxis was eugenol much greater than thymol greater than guaiacol much greater than phenol. The concentrations of phenolic compounds used in these experiments did not induce lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release and did not affect neutrophil viability. There was a consistent positive relation between the ID50 of superoxide anion generation in neutrophils and the inhibitory dose for neutrophil chemotaxis by phenolic compounds. A free phenolic hydroxyl group is essential for scavenging oxygen free-radicals and is also essential for inhibiting leukocyte chemotaxis, as was demonstrated in these experiments. These findings suggest that inhibition of leukocyte chemotaxis may be involved in the anti-inflammatory action of phenolic compounds, and that one of the anti-inflammatory actions of phenolic compounds is the prevention of the production of oxygen free-radicals by leukocytes.

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