Inhibitory effect of anethole in nonimmune acute inflammation

Domiciano TP, Dalalio MM, Silva EL, Ritter AM, Estevão-Silva CF, Ramos FS, Caparroz-Assef SM, Cuman RK, Bersani-Amado CA
Naunyn-Schmiedeberg’s Archives of Pharmacology, 2013


Anethole [1-methoxy-4-(1-propenyl)benzene] occurs naturally as a major component of the essential oil of star anise (Illicium verum Hook.f., family Illiciaceae), comprising more than 90 % of its volatile components. Studies showed that this substance has antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, and anesthetic properties. In this study, the anti-inflammatory properties of anethole in animal models of nonimmune acute inflammation such as croton oil-induced ear edema and carrageenan-induced pleurisy were investigated. The investigated parameters were edema formation, leukocyte migration, and inflammatory mediators involved. Oral administration of anethole at a dose of 250 and 500 mg/kg reduced both the volume of pleural exudates and the number of migrated leukocytes. Levels of nitric oxide (NO) and prostaglandins (PGE2) in the inflammatory exudate were reduced by treatment with anethole, but levels of tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-1β were not significantly altered. In ear edema, the oral treatment with anethole inhibited the formation of exudate and the activity of myeloperoxidase, but not after topical administration. These results suggest that the anethole may be effective in controlling some nonimmune acute inflammation-related disease, probably by an inhibitory action on production and/or release of PGE2 and NO.


Domiciano TP, Dalalio MM, Silva EL, Et Al. Inhibitory effect of anethole in nonimmune acute inflammation. N-S Arch Pharmacol. 2013;386(4):331-338.

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