Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/7403
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Type: Journal article
Title: The water-soluble components of the essential oil of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree oil) suppress the production of superoxide by human monocytes, but not neutrophils, activated in vitro
Author: Brand, C.
Ferrante, A.
Prager, R.
Riley, T.
Carson, C.
Finlay-Jones, J.
Hart, P.
Citation: Inflammation Research, 2001; 50(4):213-219
Publisher: Birkhauser Verlag Ag
Issue Date: 2001
ISSN: 1023-3830
1420-908X
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Brand, C.; Ferrante, A.; Prager, R.H.; Riley, T.V.; Carson, C.F.; Finlay-Jones, J.J.; Hart, P.H.
Abstract: <h4>Objective</h4>To evaluate the regulatory properties of the essential oil of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree oil) on the production of oxygen derived reactive species by human peripheral blood leukocytes activated in vitro.<h4>Materials and methods</h4>The ability of tea tree oil to reduce superoxide production by neutrophils and monocytes stimulated with N-formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (fMLP), lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) was examined.<h4>Results</h4>The water-soluble fraction of tea tree oil had no significant effect on agonist-stimulated superoxide production by neutrophils, but significantly and dose-dependently suppressed agonist-stimulated superoxide production by monocytes. This suppression was not due to cell death. Chemical analysis identified the water-soluble components to be terpinen-4-ol, alpha-terpineol and 1,8-cineole. When examined individually, terpinen-4-ol significantly suppressed fMLP- and LPS- but not PMA-stimulated superoxide production; alpha-terpineol significantly suppressed fMLP-, LPS- and PMA-stimulated superoxide production; 1,8-cineole was without effect.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Tea tree oil components suppress the production of superoxide by monocytes, but not neutrophils, suggesting the potential for selective regulation of cell types by these components during inflammation.
Keywords: Neutrophils; Monocytes; Cells, Cultured; Humans; Superoxides; Water; Cyclohexanols; Menthol; Terpenes; Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate; Monoterpenes; Lipopolysaccharides; Tea Tree Oil; N-Formylmethionine Leucyl-Phenylalanine; Anti-Infective Agents, Local; Solubility; Cyclohexenes; Eucalyptol; Cyclohexane Monoterpenes
RMID: 0020010920
DOI: 10.1007/s000110050746
Appears in Collections:Paediatrics publications

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