Modulation of Cytokine Production and Transcription Factors Activities in Human Jurkat T Cells by Thymol and Carvacrol.

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Modulation of Cytokine Production and Transcription Factors Activities in Human Jurkat T Cells by Thymol and Carvacrol.

Author Information

Gholijani N1, Gharagozloo M2, Kalantar F3, Ramezani A4, Amirghofran Z5.

1Autoimmune Diseases Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

2Department of Immunology, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran. ; Department of Pediatrics, CR-CHUS, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke,Quebec,Canada.

3Department of Immunology, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

4DDepartment of Medical Biotechnology, School of Advanced Medical Sciences and Technology, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran. ; Institute for Cancer Research, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

5Department of Immunology, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran. ; Medicinal and Natural Products Chemistry Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

Abstract

PURPOSE: Thymol and carvacrol, two main components of thyme, have shown anti-inflammatory effects. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of these components on Jurkat leukemia cells as an in vitro T cell model and their molecular mechanisms of activity.

METHODS: Cells were cultured in the presence of components and subsequently stimulated with phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate (PMA)/calcium ionophore for evaluating interleukin (IL)-2 and interferon (IFN)-γ production. The activation of T cell transcription factors that included nuclear factors of activated T cells (NFATs), activator protein-1 (AP-1; c-Jun/c-Fos), and nuclear factor (NF)-κB were examined by Western blot analysis.

RESULTS: Thymol and carvacrol at 25 µg/ml significantly reduced IL-2 levels from 119.4 ± 8pg/ml in control cells treated only with PMA/Calcium ionophore and the solvent to 66.9 ± 6.4pg/ml (thymol) and 32.3 ± 3.6pg/ml (carvacrol) and IFN-γ from 423.7 ± 19.7pg/ml in control cells to 311.9 ± 11.6pg/ml (thymol) and 293.5 ± 16.7pg/ml (carvacrol). Western blot analyses of nuclear extracts showed that the same concentrations of components significantly reduced NFAT-2 to 44.2 ± 2.7% (thymol) and 91.4 ± 2.3% (carvacrol) of the control (p<0.05), and c-Fos to 31.2 ± 6.2% (thymol) and 27.6 ± 3.1% (carvacrol) of the control (p<0.01). No effects on NFAT-1, c-Jun and phospho-NF-κBp65 levels were observed.

CONCLUSION: Thymol and carvacrol could contribute to modulation of T cell activity by reducing IL-2 and IFN-γ production possibly through down regulation of AP-1 and NFAT-2 transcription factors suggesting their potential usefulness for reduction of T cell overactivity in immune-mediated diseases.

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