Anti-inflammatory effects of linalool on ovalbumin-induced pulmonary inflammation

Int Immunopharmacol. 2019 Sep;74:105706. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2019.105706. Epub 2019 Jun 26.


Linalool is a natural product present in fruits and aromatic plants with biological activities. Researchers have reported that the inhalation of linalool exerts anti-inflammatory activities. In this study, we examined the therapeutic effects of linalool on airway inflammation and mucus overproduction in mice with allergic asthma. Oral administration of linalool significantly inhibited the levels of eosinophil numbers, Th2 cytokines and immunoglobulin E (IgE) caused by ovalbumin (OVA) exposure. Linalool exerted preventive effects against the influx of inflammatory cells and mucus hypersecretion in the lung tissues. Linalool also dose-dependently decreased the levels of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression and protein kinase B (AKT) activation in the lung tissues. Linalool effectively downregulated the activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) caused by OVA exposure. Furthermore, linalool exerted inhibitory effect on OVA-induced airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR). In the in vitro study, the increased secretion of MCP-1 was attenuated with linalool treatment in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated H292 airway epithelial cells. In conclusion, linalool effectively exerts a protective role in OVA-induced airway inflammation and mucus hypersecretion, and its protective effects are closely related to the downregulation of inflammatory mediators and MAPKs/NF-κB signaling.

Keywords: Allergic asthma; Eosinophil; Linalool; Mucus; NF-κB; Th2 cytokines.

MeSH terms

  • Acyclic Monoterpenes / therapeutic use*
  • Administration, Oral
  • Allergens / immunology
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / drug therapy*
  • Immunoglobulin E / metabolism
  • Lung / metabolism*
  • Lung / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II / metabolism
  • Ovalbumin / immunology
  • Respiratory Hypersensitivity / drug therapy*
  • Respiratory Mucosa / metabolism
  • Respiratory Mucosa / pathology
  • Th2 Cells / immunology*


  • Acyclic Monoterpenes
  • Allergens
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Cytokines
  • NF-kappa B
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Ovalbumin
  • linalool
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II