Effect of patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) essential oil on in vitro and in vivo leukocytes behavior in acute inflammatory response

Biomed Pharmacother. 2016 Dec;84:1697-1704. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2016.10.084. Epub 2016 Nov 12.


Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of Pogostemon cablin essential oil (PEO) on leukocyte behavior in the inflammatory response.

Methods and results: PEO was analyzed using Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/SM) and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (NMR) methods and showed predominance of patchoulol (38.50%), α-bulnesene (20.37%), α-guaiene (12.31%), seychellene (8.33%) and α-patchoulene (4.91%). PEO at concentrations of 1, 3, 10, 30, 60 and 90μg/ml reduced the in vitro neutrophil chemotaxis toward fMLP, and at concentrations of 3 and 10μg/ml, increased the phagocytic activity of neutrophils. Topical application of PEO in high concentrations promoted an increase of ear edema and myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity. However, the oral treatment with 100, 200 and 300mg/kg reduced leukocyte recruitment, nitric oxide (NO) production, and rolling and adherent leukocyte number in the microcirculation.

Conclusion: PEO affects the leukocyte behavior, and the mechanism proposed of PEO seems to be, at least in part, involving the participation of NO and pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Keywords: Anti-inflammatory; Leukocytes; Natural products; Patchouli; Sesquiterpenes.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Administration, Topical
  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Chemotaxis / drug effects
  • Edema / pathology
  • Exudates and Transudates
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Inflammation / pathology*
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Leukocyte Rolling / drug effects
  • Leukocytes / cytology*
  • Leukocytes / drug effects
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Peritonitis / pathology
  • Peroxidase / metabolism
  • Phagocytosis / drug effects
  • Pogostemon
  • Sesquiterpenes / administration & dosage
  • Sesquiterpenes / pharmacology*
  • Zymosan


  • Sesquiterpenes
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Zymosan
  • Peroxidase
  • patchouli alcohol