Planta Med 2011; 77(15): 1687-1694
DOI: 10.1055/s-0030-1271090
Biological and Pharmacological Activity
Original Papers
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Monoterpenes Isolated from Minthostachys verticillata (Griseb.) Epling Essential Oil Modulates Immediate-Type Hypersensitivity Responses In Vitro and In Vivo

Laura Cariddi1 , Franco Escobar1 , Marina Moser1 , Adriana Panero1 , Flavia Alaniz1 , Julio Zygadlo2 , Liliana Sabini1 , Ana Maldonado1
  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Universidad Nacional de Río Cuarto, Río Cuarto, Córdoba, Argentina
  • 2Faculty of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Córdoba, Argentina
Further Information

Publication History

received Dec. 5, 2010 revised April 8, 2011

accepted April 14, 2011

Publication Date:
17 May 2011 (eFirst)


In a previous work, we have demonstrated that Minthostachys verticillata essential oil has immunomodulatory effects in vitro on cells from allergic patients. Here we characterized main components of M. verticillata essential oil and also tested if these compounds modulate in vitro and in vivo the immediate-type allergic reaction.

Gas chromatography was used to identify main components of the essential oil. Pulegone (63.4 %), menthone (15.9 %), and limonene (2.1 %) were found as main classes. IL-13 levels were evaluated from lymphocytes cultures stimulated with allergen alone or combined with monoterpenes. All compounds stimulated cell proliferation but, interestingly, promoted a reduction of IL-13 values, limonene and the mixture of the three compounds being the most active. β-Hexosaminidase release was determined from basophils to which essential oil or monoterpenes were added. We observed that, whichever combination of monoterpenes was used, β-hexosaminidase release was diminished in all cases. Obtained values were even lower than those of antiallergic drug desloratadine. Essential oil and limonene inhibited mast cell activation and degranulation in the skin when testing passive cutaneous anaphylaxis, limonene being the most active.

In conclusion, limonene was the compound that showed the most potent immunomodulatory activity. This fact suggests that it constitutes a promising natural alternative for a novel treatment of allergic diseases.

Supporting Information


Dr. Laura Cariddi, Postdoctoral Fellow, CONICET

Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Universidad Nacional de Río Cuarto

Ruta 8 Km 601

CP 5800 Río Cuarto, Córdoba


Phone: +54 35 84 67 64 33

Fax: +54 35 84 67 62 31