Bergamot essential oil differentially modulates intracellular Ca2+ levels in vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cells: a new finding seen with fura-2

J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2013 Apr;61(4):324-8. doi: 10.1097/FJC.0b013e3182834681.


In this study, we compared the effect of the essential oil of Citrus bergamia Risso [bergamot, bergamot essential oil (BEO)] on the intracellular Ca levels in vascular endothelial (EA) and mouse vascular smooth muscle (MOVAS) cells, using the fura-2 fluorescence technique. BEO caused an initial transient increase in intracellular Ca concentration ([Ca]i) in EA cells, followed by a decrease, whereas it induced a sustained increase in [Ca]i in MOVAS cells. Linalyl acetate (LA) as a major component of BEO-induced [Ca]i mobilization was similar to BEO in EA cells. The increase of [Ca]i by LA was higher in EA cells than in MOVAS cells. [Ca]i rise induced by extracellular Ca application was significantly blocked by BEO or LA in EA cells but not in MOVAS cells, suggesting that BEO and LA block Ca influx in EA cells. The present results suggest that BEO and LA differentially modulate intracellular Ca levels in vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cells. In addition, blockade of Ca influx by BEO and LA in EA cells may explain the protective effects of BEO on endothelial dysfunction associated with cardiovascular disease.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Cell Line
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Endothelial Cells / drug effects*
  • Endothelial Cells / metabolism
  • Fluorescent Dyes / chemistry
  • Fura-2 / chemistry
  • Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Monoterpenes / isolation & purification
  • Monoterpenes / pharmacology
  • Myocytes, Smooth Muscle / drug effects*
  • Myocytes, Smooth Muscle / metabolism
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology*


  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Monoterpenes
  • Plant Oils
  • bergamot oil
  • linalyl acetate
  • Calcium
  • Fura-2