Beneficial effects of essential oils on adult T-cell leukemia

  • KIMURA Ryuichiro
    Graduate School of Medicine, University of the Ryukyus Transdisciplinary Research Organization for Subtropics and Island Studies, University of the Ryukyus

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Other Title
  • 精油による抗成人T細胞白血病効果
  • セイユ ニ ヨル コウセイジン Tサイボウ ハッケツビョウ コウカ

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Adult T-cell leukemia (ATL) is a highly aggressive malignancy of CD4+ T cells caused by human T cell leukemia virus type I (HTLV-I). Transcription factor, NF-κB, is constitutively activated in primary ATL cells and plays a central role in leukemogenesis by contributing to the pathogenesis of ATL. Thus, specific NF-κB inhibitors block proliferation of ATL cells. Here we examined whether 30 essential oils exhibit NF-κB inhibitory effect as well as anti-ATL effects using a human HTLV-I-infected T-cell line, MT-2. Among 30 oils, Geranium, Ylang-ylang, Juniper, and Jasmine oils significantly inhibited cellular growth. Geranium oil especially induced an inhibition of constitutive NF-κB activation as well as the caspase-dependent apoptotic cell death of MT-2. These results suggest that Geranium oil has strong NF-κB inhibitory and anti-ATL effects. These findings demonstrate that Geranium oil and its components might be useful in molecular targeted therapies and palliative care for several cancer and inflammatory diseases, in which activation of NF-κB occurs.


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