α-Phellandrene, a natural compound from natural plants, has been used in the food and perfume industry. We investigated the effects of α-phellandrene on the immune responses on normal murine cells in vivo. Normal BALB/c mice were treated orally with or without α-phellandrene at 0, 1, 5 and 25 mg/kg and olive oil as a positive control for two weeks. Results indicated that α-phellandrene did not change the weight of animals when compared to olive oil (vehicle for α-phellandrene)-treated groups. After flow cytometric assay of blood samples it was shown that α-phellandrene increased the percentage of CD3 (T-cell marker), CD11b (monocytes) and MAC3 (macrophages), but reduced the percentage of CD19 (B-cell marker) cell surface markers in α-phellandrene-treated groups, compared to untreated groups. α-Phellandrene promoted the phagocytosis of macrophages from blood samples at 5 and 25 mg/kg treatment and promoted natural killer cell activity from splenocytes at 25 mg/kg. Furthermore, α-phellandrene increased B-cell proliferation at 25 mg/kg with or without stimulation but promoted cell proliferation only at 25 mg/kg treatment with stimulation. Based on these observations, 25 mg/kg with α-phellandrene seems to have promoted immune responses in this murine model.
Keywords: BALB/c mice; macrophage; natural killer cells; phagocytosis; α-Phellandrene.