Natural Health News – A main aromatic component of essential oils, terpenes can inhibit growth different cancer cells, according to German researchers.
The essential oils are produced in many plants, protection through its antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. These oils are also used in a variety of therapeutic forms in complementary and alternative medicine. It has recently been found that the terpenes, a large family of volatile aromatic compounds may also inhibit the growth of various cancer cells, including liver cancer. Its function was not previously understood fully.
Terpenes processes can trigger signaling in cells via activation of olfactory receptors. These receptors are located mainly in the nose, but has been shown to occur in all types of human tissue, including skin, prostate and sperm. Carcinogenesis and cancer growth also affected significantly by terpenes, although the exact mechanism is not well understood.
In order to find the way terpenes inhalation may affect the course of cancer, Bochum researchers used a cell model of hepatocellular carcinoma, a common liver tumor. different cells at different concentrations terpenes exposed, and monitored their reactions.
The laboratory study in Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics found that two of the eleven tested terpenes caused a significant increase in calcium concentration in cells. These two were the terpenes (-) – citronellal and citronellol – commonly found in citrus oils that smell
For a follow-up analysis, the researchers focused on. (-) – Citronellal and scanned for a receptor on liver cells in which the terpene is to be integrated as a key in a lock. They demonstrated that OR1A2 Olfactory receptor known as occurs in the liver cells and is responsible for detecting citrus fragrance and cell reaction to this odor. If the option for the production of the receiver was removed from the cells, the cells no longer respond to the (-) -. Citronellal
Moreover, the researchers succeeded in tracking the signaling pathway (-) -. Citronellal used to increase the concentration of calcium within the cells, reducing cell growth
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citronellal is abundantly in citronella, lemongrass, eucalyptus, lemon-scented kaffir lime tree and tea leaves and in small amounts in popular citrus oils.
“These results are one more example of the importance of olfactory receptors outside the nose, and giving rise to the hope that new drugs with serious side effects can be developed for cancer therapy. ”
Hepatocellular carcinoma is the most common primary liver tumor. It is the third most common cause for the tumor-induced death. Terpenes have been previously shown to be able to inhibit the growth of various cancer cells. This new work sheds light on the potential significant therapeutic benefits of aromatic compounds. In the future, researchers say, the olfactory receptor could serve as a target for diagnosis and therapy of liver cancer.