Protective role of terpenes and polyphenols from three species of Oregano (Lippia graveolens, Lippia palmeri and Hedeoma patens) on the suppression of lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation in RAW 264.7 macrophage cells.
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ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Mexican oregano infusions have been traditionally used in Mxico for the treatment of inflammation-related diseases, such as respiratory and digestive disorders, headaches and rheumatism, among others. Nevertheless, there is limited information regarding the phenolic compounds, terpenes and composition as well as biological activity of Mexican oregano. AIM OF THE STUDY: To determine the phenolic and terpene composition and to evaluate the anti-inflammatory potential of three species of Mexican oregano (Lippia graveolens (LG), Lippia palmeri (LP) and Hedeoma patens (HP)) in order to provide a scientific basis for their use. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We obtained methanol and chloroform extracts from dried oregano leaves of each species. We used LC-DAD-ESI-MS/MS and GC-MS to determine the phenolic and terpene profiles of the leaves, respectively. We evaluated anti-inflammatory potential by measuring the effect of Mexican oregano extracts on some pro-inflammatory mediators, such as nitric oxide (NO) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) using lipopolysaccharide(LPS)-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophage cells and evaluating cyclooxygenase activity (COX-1, COX-2). RESULTS: Nine phenolic compounds (phenolic acids and flavonoids) and 22 terpenes (monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes) were detected in LG, LP and HP. We studied extracts from LG, LP and HP, and fractions from LG and LP in order to know their effect on some pro-inflammatory mediators. The phenolic and terpene extracts from LG, LP and HP exhibited significant inhibitory effect on ROS and NO production and mitochondrial activity in LPS-induced inflammation in RAW 264.7 macrophage cells. Nitric oxide production was also diminished by the terpene LG fraction LGF2 and the LP fractions LPF1, LPF2 and LPF3, confirming that both monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes are active compounds of oregano. Furthermore, the total extracts of LG, LP and HP exhibited non-selective inhibitions against the activity of the cyclooxygenases COX-1 and COX-2. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that Lippia graveolens, Lippia palmeri and Hedeoma patens extracts have the potential to treat inflammatory diseases; their activity is mediated by polyphenols and terpenes. These findings support the claim for their traditional use in the treatment of inflammation-related diseases.