Anti-inflammatory effects of onions: inhibition of chemotaxis of human polymorphonuclear leukocytes by thiosulfinates and cepaenes

Int Arch Allergy Appl Immunol. 1990;92(1):39-42. doi: 10.1159/000235221.


Seven different synthetic thiosulfinates, and cepaene- and/or thiosulfinate-rich onion extracts were found to inhibit in vitro the chemotaxis of human granulocytes induced by formyl-methionine-leucine-phenylalanine in a dose-dependent manner and at a concentration range of 0.1-100 microM. Diphenylthiosulfinate showed the highest activity and was found to be more active than prednisolone. The anti-inflammatory properties of onion extracts are related, at least in part, to the inhibition of inflammatory cell influx by thiosulfinates and cepaenes.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Allium*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / pharmacology*
  • Chemotaxis, Leukocyte / drug effects*
  • Disulfides / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • N-Formylmethionine Leucyl-Phenylalanine / pharmacology
  • Neutrophils / immunology*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Sulfoxides / pharmacology*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Disulfides
  • Plant Extracts
  • Sulfoxides
  • N-Formylmethionine Leucyl-Phenylalanine