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Chemical analysis, antioxidant, antiinflammatory and anticholinesterase activities of Origanum ehrenbergii Boiss and Origanum syriacum L. essential oils

Loizzo, Monica R., Menichini, Federica, Conforti, Filomena, Tundis, Rosa, Bonesi, Marco, Saab, Antoine M., Statti, Giancarlo A., Cindio, Bruno de, Houghton, Peter J, Menichini, Francesco, Frega, Natale Giuseppe
Food chemistry 2009 v.117 no.1 pp. 174-180
Origanum, essential oils, plant extracts, chemical composition, antioxidant activity, anti-inflammatory activity, cholinesterase, enzyme inhibition, nitric oxide, thymol, p-cymene, carvacrol, linoleic acid, lipid peroxidation, acetylcholinesterase, chemical constituents of plants, Lebanon
The essential oils of Origanum ehrenbergii and O. syriacum collected in Lebanon were analysed by GC and GC-MS and evaluated for their anticholinesterase, NO production inhibitory activities, and antioxidant properties. O. ehrenbergi essential oil was characterised by the presence of 37 components, representing 94.9% of the total oil of which thymol (19%) and p-cymene (16.1%) were the main abundant compounds. Thirty-six compounds characterised the O. syriacum essential oil, representing 90.6% of the total oil. The most abundant components were thymol (24.7%) and carvacrol (17.6%). O. ehrenbergii demonstrated interesting scavenging effects on DPPH with an IC₅₀ value of 0.99μg/ml. In addition, both O. ehrenbergii and O. syriacum oils inhibited oxidation of linoleic acid after 30min of incubation, as well as after 60min of incubation with IC₅₀ values of 42.1 and 33.6μg/ml, and 46.9 and 58.9μg/ml, respectively. Interestingly, O. ehrenbergii oil inhibited NO production in the murine monocytic macrophage cell line RAW 264.7 with an IC₅₀ value of 66.4μg/ml. Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) inhibition was assessed by modifications of the Ellman's method. O. ehrenbergii exhibited a strong activity against both cholinesterases with IC₅₀ values of 0.3μg/ml. The data suggest that O. ehrenbergii and O. syriacum oils could be used as a valuable new flavour with functional properties for food or nutriceutical products with particular relevance to supplements for the elderly.