Antioxidant activity of bisabolol: inhibitory effects on chemiluminescence of human neutrophil bursts and cell-free systems

Pharmacology. 2009;83(2):110-5. doi: 10.1159/000186049. Epub 2008 Dec 18.


Human polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN), reactive oxygen species (ROS) and inflammatory reactions are closely interrelated, and increasing attention is being given to the search for new synthetic or natural antioxidant agents, capable of reducing ROS and consequent inflammation. It has been claimed that bisabolol (a monocyclic sesquiterpene alcohol) has an antioxidant/anti-inflammatory activity, but this has almost exclusively been investigated using chemical or biochemical tests. We studied the ability of bisabolol to interfere with ROS production (luminol-amplified chemiluminescence, LACL) during human PMN respiratory bursts induced by both corpusculate(Candida albicans)and soluble stimulants (N-formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine, fMLP). LACL was also used to test cell-free systems (SIN-1 and H2O2/HOCl(-) systems) in order to investigate the presence of scavenging activity. After C. albicans stimulation, significant concentration-dependent LACL inhibition was observed at bisabolol concentrations ranging from 7.7 to 31 microg/ml; after the fMLP stimulus, significant LACL inhibition was observed at bisabolol concentrations ranging from 3.8 to 31 microg/ml. A similar effect was observed in the SIN-1 and H2O2/HOCl(-) systems. These findings draw the attention to the possible medical use of bisabolol as a means of improving the antioxidant network and restoring the redox balance by antagonising oxidative stress.

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Candida albicans
  • Cell-Free System / drug effects
  • Cell-Free System / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Hypochlorous Acid / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Luminescence*
  • Luminol / pharmacology
  • Molsidomine / analogs & derivatives
  • Molsidomine / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Monocyclic Sesquiterpenes
  • N-Formylmethionine Leucyl-Phenylalanine / pharmacology
  • Neutrophils / drug effects*
  • Neutrophils / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Respiratory Burst / drug effects
  • Sesquiterpenes / pharmacology*


  • Antioxidants
  • Monocyclic Sesquiterpenes
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Sesquiterpenes
  • bisabolol
  • N-Formylmethionine Leucyl-Phenylalanine
  • Luminol
  • linsidomine
  • Hypochlorous Acid
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Molsidomine