Effects of essential oil extracted from Nigella sativa (L.) seeds and its main components on human neutrophil elastase activity.
Yakugaku Zasshi. 2006 Apr;126(4):301-5. PMID: 16596021
The effects of essential oil extracted from Nigella sativa (L.) seeds and its main components on human neutrophil elastase (HNE) activity were investigated. Essential oil was extracted from N. sativa (L.) seeds using hydrodistillation. The yield was equal to 0.4%. Inhibition of HNE activity by essential oil was found to be dose dependent. The highest inhibitory concentration (HIC) of essential oil which caused total inhibition of HNE activity was 5.8 mg/ml. Microassays carried out to evaluate the inhibitory effect of major components of essential oil on HNE activity revealed that carvacrol (5-isopropyl-2-methylphenol) showed marked HNE inhibitory activity with a very low IC(50) value (12 microM). Based on these results, the inhibitory effects of essential oil on HNE activity are due to the presence of bioactive molecules, mainly carvacrol this compound is an inhibitor of HNE and could be considered as a natural antielastase agent and possible candidate for phytotherapy in the treatment of injuries that appear in some pathologic cases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and emphysema.