Estragole and methyl-eugenol-free extract of Artemisia dracunculus possesses immunomodulatory effects

Document Type : Original Research Article


1 Department of Microbiology, Veterinary Faculty, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran

2 Solid Tumor Research Center, rmia University of Medical Sciences, Urmia, Iran


Objective: Some evidence suggests that chronic uptake of estragole and methyl-eugenol, found in the essential oil of Artemisia dracunculus (tarragon), may be associated with an increased risk of hepato-carcinogenicity. The present study was conducted to investigate the immumodulatory and anti-inflammatory potentials of estragole and methyl-eugenol free extract of tarragon.
Materials and Methods: Aqueous, hydroalcoholic, methanol and hexane extracts of dried and milled tarragon was prepared and analyzed by GC-MS. The estragole and methyl-eugenol free extract was characterized and used for evaluation of immunity in NMRI mice after challenging with sheep red blood cells.
Results: It was shown that the aqueous extract of tarragon was free from potentially harmful estragole or methyl-eugenol. Moreover, the immunomodulatory effect of the aqueous extract of tarragon (100 mg/kg for 21 consecutive days) was investigated. The extract significantly increased the level of anti-sheep red blood cells (SRBC (antibody and simultaneously decreased the level of cellular immunity in the treatment group. Moreover, tarragon caused a significant reduction in the production of pro-inflammatory IL-17 and IFN-γ in parallel with a reduction in the ratio of INF-γ to Il-10 or IL-17 to IL-10 in the splenocytes. In addition, the levels of the respiratory burst and nitric oxide production in peritoneal macrophages were significantly decreased. Additionally, the phagocytosis potential of macrophages was significantly increased in treated mice.
Conclusion: These data showed that the aqueous extract of tarragon may be used as a natural source to modulate the immune system, because it can inhibit pro-inflammatory cytokines and induce anti-inflammatory macrophages.


Main Subjects

Abtahi Froushani SM, Esmaili Gourvarchin Galeh H. 2014. New insight into the immunomodulatory mechanisms of tretinoin in nmri mice. Iran J Basic Med Sci, 17: 632-637.
Aglarova AM, Zilfikarov IN, Severtseva OV .2008. Biological characteristics and useful properties of tarragon (artemisia dracunculus l.) (review). Pharm Chem J , 42: 81-86.
Aranami T,Yamamura T .2008. Th17 cells and autoimmune encephalomyelitis (eae/ms). Allergol Int, 57: 115-120.
Asadullah K, Sterry W,Volk HD .2003. Interleukin-10 therapy--review of a new approach. Pharmacol Rev, 55:241-269.
Babior BM .2000. Phagocytes and oxidative stress. Am J Med, 109:33-44.
Cho DI, Kim MR, Jeong HY, Jeong HC, Jeong MH,Yoon SH, Kim YS, Ahn Y .2014. Mesenchymal stem cells reciprocally regulate the m1/m2 balance in mouse bone marrow-derived macrophages. Exp Mol Med, 46:e70.
De Vincenzi M, Silano M, Maialetti F, Scazzocchio B. 2000. Constituents of aromatic plants: Ii. Estragole. Fitoterapia, 71: 725-729.
El-Behi M, Rostami A, Ciric B. 2010. Current views on the roles of th1 and th17 cells in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. J Neuroimmune Pharmacol, 5: 189-197.
Fletcher JM, Lalor SJ, Sweeney CM, Tubridy N,Mills KH. 2010. T cells in multiple sclerosis and experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Clin Exp Immunol, 162:1-11.
Grando FC, Felicio CA, Twardowschy A, Paula FM, Batista VG, Fernandes LC, Curi R, Nishiyama A. 2009. Modulation of peritoneal macrophage activity by the saturation state of the fatty acid moiety of phosphatidylcholine. Braz J Med Biol Res, 42: 599-605.
Hamaliaka A, Novikova I . 2010. Nitric oxide production disorders in leukocytes of patients with recurrent furunculosis. Biomed Pap Med Fac Univ Palacky Olomouc Czech Repub, 154:163-167.
Italiani P,Boraschi D .2014. From monocytes to m1/m2 macrophages: Phenotypical vs. Functional differentiation. Front Immunol, 5:514.
Kim J,Hematti P .2009. Mesenchymal stem cell-educated macrophages: A novel type of alternatively activated macrophages. Exp Hematol, 37: 1445-1453.
Kobayashi K, Kaneda K, Kasama T .2001. Immunopathogenesis of delayed-type hypersensitivity. Microsc Res Tech, 53:241-245.
Kordali S,Kotan R,Mavi A,Cakir A,Ala A,Yildirim A .2005. Determination of the chemical composition and antioxidant activity of the essential oil of artemisia dracunculus and of the antifungal and antibacterial activities of turkish artemisia absinthium, a. Dracunculus, artemisia santonicum, and artemisia spicigera essential oils. J Agric Food Chem, 53: 9452-9458.
Korn T,Oukka M,Kuchroo V,Bettelli E .2007. Th17 cells: Effector t cells with inflammatory properties. Semin Immunol, 19:362-371.
Kuerten S,Lehmann PV .2011. The immune pathogenesis of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis: Lessons learned for multiple sclerosis? J Interferon Cytokine Res, 31:907-916.
Mannino MH,Zhu Z,Xiao H,Bai Q,Wakefield MR,Fang Y. 2015. The paradoxical role of il-10 in immunity and cancer. Cancer Lett, 367:103-107.
Menichini F,Conforti F,Rigano D,Formisano C,Piozzi F,Senatore F .2009. Phytochemical composition, anti-inflammatory and antitumour activities of four teucrium essential oils from greece. Food Chem, 115:679-686.
Mitra Mazumder P,Pattnayak S,Parvani H,Sasmal D,Rathinavelusamy P .2012. Evaluation of immunomodulatory activity of glycyrhiza glabra l roots in combination with zing. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed, 2:S15-S20.
Murdaca G,Colombo BM,Puppo F .2011. The role of th17 lymphocytes in the autoimmune and chronic inflammatory diseases. Intern Emerg Med, 6: 487-495.
Nabi AH,Islam LN,Rahman MM,Biswas KB .2005. Polymorphonuclear neutrophil dysfunctions in streptozotocin-induced type 1 diabetic rats. J Biochem Mol Biol, 38:661-667.
Nageeb A,Al-Tawashi A,Mohammad Emwas AH,Abdel-Halim Al-Talla Z,Al-Rifai N .2013. Bioactivities between traditional medicine and chemical extracts. Curr Bioact Compd, 9: 324-332.
Nelson DS,Mildenhall P .1967. Studies on cytophilic antibodies. 1. The production by mice of macrophage cytophilic antibodies to sheep erythrocytes: Relationship to the production of other antibodies and the development of delayed-type hypersensitivity. Aust J Exp Biol Med Sci, 45: 113-130.
Obistioiu D,Cristina RT,Schmerold I,Chizzola R,Stolze K,Nichita I,Chiurciu V .2014. Chemical characterization by gc-ms and in vitro activity against candida albicans of volatile fractions prepared from artemisia dracunculus, artemisia abrotanum, artemisia absinthium and artemisia vulgaris. Chem Cent J, 8: 6.
Obolskiy D,Pischel I,Feistel B,Glotov N,Heinrich M .2011. Artemisia dracunculus l. (tarragon): A critical review of its traditional use, chemical composition, pharmacology, and safety. J Agric Food Chem, 59: 11367-11384.
Saraiva M,O'garra A .2010. The regulation of il-10 production by immune cells. Nat Rev Immunol, 10:170-181.
Saraiva RA,Araruna MKA,Oliveira RC,Menezes KDP,Leite GO,Kerntopf MR,Costa JGM,Rocha JBT,Tomé AR,Campos AR,Menezes IRA .2011. Topical anti-inflammatory effect of caryocar coriaceum wittm. (caryocaraceae) fruit pulp fixed oil on mice ear edema induced by different irritant agents. J Ethnopharmacol, 136: 504-510.
Sayyah M,Nadjafnia L,Kamalinejad M .2004. Anticonvulsant activity and chemical composition of artemisia dracunculus l. Essential oil. J Ethnopharmacol, 94: 283-287.
Shahriyary L,Yazdanparast R .2007. Inhibition of blood platelet adhesion, aggregation and secretion by artemisia dracunculus leaves extracts. J Ethnopharmacol, 114:194-198.
Sharafati Chaleshtori R,Rokni N,Razavilar V,Rafieian Kopaei M .2013. The evaluation of the antibacterial and antioxidant activity of tarragon (artemisia dracunculus) essential oil and its chemical composition. Jundishapur J Microbiol, 6: e7877.
Trinchieri G .2007. Interleukin-10 production by effector t cells: Th1 cells show self control. J Exp Med, 204:239-243.
Visavadiya NP,Soni B,Dalwadi N .2009. Evaluation of antioxidant and anti-atherogenic properties of glycyrrhiza glabra root using in vitro models. Int J Food Sci Nutr, 60 Suppl 2:135-149.
Weinoehrl S,Feistel B,Pischel I,Kopp B,Butterweck V .2012. Comparative evaluation of two different artemisia dracunculus l. Cultivars for blood sugar lowering effects in rats. Phytother Res, 26:625-629.