Protective effect of Foeniculum vulgare essential oil and anethole in an experimental model of thrombosis.
Pharmacol Res. 2007 Sep;56(3):254-60. Epub 2007 Jul 14. PMID: 17709257
In a previous screening work, Foeniculum vulgare essential oil emerged from a pool of 24 essential oils for its antiplatelet properties and its ability to destabilize the retraction of the coagulum. In the present work the main component of the oil, anethole, tested in guinea pig plasma was as potent as fennel oil in inhibiting arachidonic acid-, collagen-, ADP- and U46619-induced aggregation (IC(50) from 4 to 147 microg ml(-1)). It also prevented thrombin-induced clot retraction at concentrations similar to fennel oil. The essential oil and anethole, tested in rat aorta with or without endothelium, displayed comparable NO-independent vasorelaxant activity at antiplatelet concentrations which have been proved to be free from cytotoxic effects in vitro. In vivo, both F. vulgare essential oil and anethole orally administered in a subacute treatment to mice (30 mg kg(-1)day(-1) for 5 days) showed significant antithrombotic activity preventing the paralysis induced by collagen-epinephrine intravenous injection (70% and 83% protection, respectively). At the antithrombotic dosage they were free from prohemorrhagic side effect at variance with acetylsalicylic acid used as reference drug. Furthermore, both F. vulgare essential oil and anethole (100 mg kg(-1) oral administration) provided significant protection toward ethanol induced gastric lesions in rats. In conclusion, these results demonstrate for F. vulgare essential oil, and its main component anethole, a safe antithrombotic activity that seems due to their broad spectrum antiplatelet activity, clot destabilizing effect and vasorelaxant action.