Effects of Nigella sativa seeds and certain species of fungi extracts on number and activation of dural mast cells in rats

Physiol Int. 2017 Mar 1;104(1):15-24. doi: 10.1556/2060.104.2017.1.8.


In this study, we aimed to investigate the effects of Nigella sativa seeds and certain species of fungi extracts on the number and degranulation states of dural mast cells in rats. Rats were fed ad libitum with normal tap water or tap water with extract of N. sativa seed, Ramaria condensata, Lactarius salmonicolor, Lactarius piperatus, and Tricholoma terreum for 3 days. Mast cells in dura mater were counted and evaluated in terms of granulation and degranulation states. Compound 48/80, a mast cell degranulating agent, and T. terreum significantly increased the percent of degranulated mast cells in dura mater, respectively (p < 0.01 and p < 0.05). Moreover, T. terreum causes a significant increase in the total number of mast cells (p < 0.05). N. sativa significantly inhibited mast cell degranulation induced by both the compound 48/80 and T. terreum (p < 0.05), and significantly decreased the mast cell numbers increased by T. terreum (p < 0.05). Our results suggested that T. terreum following ingestion can contribute to headaches like migraine via dural mast cell degranulation and N. sativa may be able to exert analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects by stabilizing dural mast cells. However, investigation is needed to determine the ingredients of N. sativa that may be responsible for these beneficial effects.

Keywords: Nigella sativa; Tricholoma terreum; dura mater; mast cell; migraine; neurogenic inflammation.

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics / isolation & purification
  • Analgesics / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / isolation & purification
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Degranulation / drug effects*
  • Dura Mater / cytology
  • Fungi / chemistry*
  • Male
  • Mast Cells / drug effects*
  • Mast Cells / immunology
  • Mast Cells / microbiology
  • Nigella sativa / chemistry*
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plants, Medicinal
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Seeds / chemistry*
  • Tricholoma / chemistry
  • p-Methoxy-N-methylphenethylamine / pharmacology


  • Analgesics
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • p-Methoxy-N-methylphenethylamine