Antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of essential oil extracted from Chamaecyparis obtusa in mice

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Essential oil extracted from Chamaecyparis obtusa (EOCO) consists of several monoterpenes with anti-inflammatory effects. Monoterpenes are expected to have an analgesic effect through inhibition of pro-inflammatory mediators. The present study investigated the anti-nociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of EOCO in animal models of pain. Intraperitoneal injection with EOCO (5 or 10 mg/kg), aspirin (positive control, 300 mg/kg), or DMSO (negative control) was performed 1 h before the nociception tests: acetic acid-induced writhing response, formalin test, and hot plate test in mice, and acidic saline-induced allodynia in rats. The expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and pro-inflammatory enzymes in formalin-injected paws was determined by ELISA and western blotting, respectively. Treatment with EOCO significantly reduced acetic acid-induced writhing and paw-licking time in late response of the formalin tests. The anti-nociceptive effect was comparable with aspirin. However, EOCO did not affect the reaction time of licking of the hind paws or jumping in hot plate test and the mechanical withdrawal thresholds in acidic saline-induced allodynia model. Formalin-injected paws of mice treated with EOCO revealed the down-regulated expression of tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1β, inducible nitric oxide synthase, and cyclooxygenase-2, as compared with those of control mice. These data showed the anti-nociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of EOCO. The pain-relieving effect might be attributed to inhibition of peripheral pain in association with inflammatory response. EOCO could be a useful therapeutic strategy to manage pain and inflammatory diseases.

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