Cinnamaldehyde inhibits pro-inflammatory cytokines secretion from monocytes/macrophages through suppression of intracellular signaling

Food Chem Toxicol. 2008 Jan;46(1):220-31. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2007.07.016. Epub 2007 Aug 8.


We investigated the in vitro anti-inflammatory effects of Cinnamaldehyde, a cytokine production inhibitor isolated from an essential oil produced from the leaves of Cinnamomum osmophloeum Kaneh, and its mechanism of action. Although Cinnamaldehyde has been reported to have contact sensitizing properties at high concentration (mM), we found that low concentration of Cinnamaldehyde (muM) inhibited the secretion of interleukin-1beta and tumor necrosis factor alpha within lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or lipoteichoic acid (LTA) stimulated murine J774A.1 macrophages. Cinnamaldehyde also suppressed the production of these cytokines from LPS stimulated human blood monocytes derived primary macrophages and human THP-1 monocytes. Furthermore, Cinnamaldehyde also inhibited the production of prointerleukin-1beta within LPS or LTA stimulated human THP-1 monocytes. Reactive oxygen species release from LPS stimulated J774A.1 macrophages was reduced by Cinnamaldehyde. The phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 and c-Jun N-terminal kinase 1/2 induced by LPS was also inhibited by Cinnamaldehyde; however, Cinnamaldehyde neither antagonize the binding of LPS to the cells nor alter the cell surface expression of toll-like receptor 4 and CD14. In addition, we also noted that Cinnamaldehyde appeared to elicit no cytotoxic effect upon J774A.1 macrophages under our experimental conditions, although Cinnamaldehyde reduced J774A.1 macrophages proliferation as analysed by MTT assay. Our current results have demonstrated the anti-oxidation and anti-inflammatory properties of Cinnamaldehyde that could provide the possibility for Cinnamaldehyde's future pharmaceutical application in the realm of immuno-modulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acrolein / analogs & derivatives*
  • Acrolein / pharmacology
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cinnamomum / chemistry*
  • Cytokines / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Free Radical Scavengers / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / metabolism
  • Immunologic Factors / pharmacology
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Lipopolysaccharide Receptors / metabolism
  • Lipopolysaccharides / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Lipopolysaccharides / toxicity
  • Macrophages / drug effects
  • Macrophages / metabolism*
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Monocytes / drug effects
  • Monocytes / metabolism*
  • Oils, Volatile / isolation & purification
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology
  • Oxidants / metabolism
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Toll-Like Receptors / metabolism


  • Cytokines
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Lipopolysaccharide Receptors
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Oxidants
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Toll-Like Receptors
  • Acrolein
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • cinnamaldehyde