1Department of Pharmacy, Health and Nutritional Sciences, Section of Preclinical and Translational Pharmacology, UCADH, University of Calabria, 87036 Rende, Cosenza, Italy 2Department of Health Sciences, University “Magna Graecia” of Catanzaro, 88100 Catanzaro, Italy 3University Consortium for Adaptive Disorders and Head Pain, UCADH, University of Calabria, 87036 Rende, Cosenza, Italy
Abstract Essential oils are complex mixtures of several components endowed with a wide range of biological activities, including antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, spasmolytic, sedative, analgesic, and anesthetic properties. A growing body of scientific reports has recently focused on the potential of essential oils as anticancer treatment in the attempt to overcome the development of multidrug resistance and important side effects associated with the antitumor drugs currently used. In this review we discuss the literature on the effects of essential oils in in vitro and in vivo models of cancer, focusing on the studies performed with the whole phytocomplex rather than single constituents. Conclusion .From the available literature essential oils seem to have a great potential as anticancer therapeutic agents; however, information regarding their mechanism of action is still lacking and far from being deciphered. Indeed, their complex chemical composition makes it difficult to envisage a single mechanism underlying the entireness of the biological effect, which is likely the sum and/or synergy of the biological activity of each component. For the same reason, data obtained from single components may not necessarily be, in turn, applied to the whole essential oil. On the other hand, the presence in the phytocomplex of numerous constituents that simultaneously interfere with multiple signaling pathway might be the key for overcoming the current limit of chemotherapeutic agents and in particular the development of multidrug resistance.
Although, from the data reviewed in this paper, the use of essential oils in cancer therapy is very promising, the data obtained from in vitro and in vivo preclinical models have, beside obvious strengths, several limitations and cannot always be fully applicable to humans. Furthermore, administration route, as well as potential toxicity, and side effects are rarely taken into account by the reviewed studies making it difficult to predict the translational potential of those data for the clinical setting.
Terpinen-4-ol Induces Apoptosis in Human Nonsmall Cell Lung Cancer In Vitro and In Vivo Chieh-Shan Wu,1 Yun-Ju Chen,2 Jeremy J. W. Chen,3 Jeng-Jer Shieh,3 Chia-Hsin Huang,4 Pei-Shan Lin,3 Gee-Chen Chang,3,5,6 JingHua-Tsai Chang,7 and Chi-Chen Lin3,6
1Department of Dermatology, School of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 80708, Taiwan 2Department of Child Care, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Southern Taiwan University, Tainan 71005, Taiwan 3Institute of Biomedical Sciences, College of Life Science, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung 40227, Taiwan 4Agricultural Research Institute, Council of Agriculture Executive, Yuan 10014, Taiwan 5Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Chest Medicine, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, Taichung 40705, Taiwan 6Department of Medical Education and Research, Taichung-Veterans General Hospital, Taichung 40705, Taiwan 7Institute of Medicine, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung 40201,
.Abstract Terpinen-4-ol, a monoterpene component of the essential oils of several aromatic plants, exhibits antitumor effects. In this study, the antitumor effects of terpinen-4-ol and the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for it were evaluated and studied, respectively on human nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells. Our results indicated that terpinen-4-ol elicited a dose-dependent cytotoxic effect, as determined by MTT assay. Increased sub-G1 population and annexin-V binding, activation of caspases 9 and 3, cleavage of poly(ADPribose) polymerase (PARP), and a decrease of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) indicated involvement of the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway in terpinen-4-ol-treated A549 and CL1-0 cells. Elevation of the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio and a decrease in IAP family proteins XIAP and survivin were also observed following terpinen-4-ol treatment. Notably, terpinen-4-ol was able to increase p53 levels in A549 and CL1-0 cells. Diminution of p53 by RNA interference induced necrosis instead of apoptosis in A549 cells following terpinen-4-ol treatment, indicating that terpinen-4-ol-elicited apoptosis is p53-dependent. Moreover, intratumoral administration of terpinen-4-ol significantly suppressed the growth of s.c. A549 xenografts by inducing apoptosis, as confirmed by TUNEL assay. Collectively, these data provide insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying terpinen-4-ol-induced apoptosis in NSCLC cells, rendering this compound a potential anticancer drug for NSCLC.
Source : Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 818261, 13 pages doi:10.1155/2012/818261 Link to Full Article