Mast Cell Involvement in the Rat Paw Oedema Response to 1,8-cineole, the Main Constituent of Eucalyptus and Rosemary Oils

Eur J Pharmacol. 1997 Jul 23;331(2-3):253-8. doi: 10.1016/s0014-2999(97)01013-3.


The present studies tested the ability of 1,8-cineole to produce inflammatory oedema in the hind paw of the rat and verified the possible involvement of mast cells in the response. Subplantar injection of 1,8-cineole (10, 15 and 20 microl/paw) induced a dose-dependent paw oedema which was apparent within 30 min. At higher doses the oedema effect was persistent, peaked at 2 h, and then decreased gradually but was still pronounced at 24 h post injection. In contrast, the oedema produced by mast cell degranulator compound 48/80 (10 microg/paw) had a rapid onset with a peak effect at the first hour, followed by a gradual decrease thereafter and at 24 h post injection it was almost absent. The oedema response to 20 microl 1,8-cineole was significantly inhibited throughout its time-course in rats pretreated with antihistaminic and antiserotonergic drugs such as diphenhydramine, methysergide and cyproheptadine or with ketotifen, a mast cell stabilizer. A more effective blockade of the oedema response was, however, observed in rats depleted of mast cell granules by systemic treatment with compound 48/80. Furthermore, 1,8-cineole was able to cause rat peritoneal mast cell degranulation (94%) in vitro, in a concentration as low as 0.3 microl/ml, which was almost comparable to that produced by 0.1 microg/ml of compound 48/80. The data provide evidence of a key role for the mast cell in 1,8-cineole-induced hind paw oedema in the rat.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / pharmacology
  • Cell Degranulation / drug effects
  • Cyclohexanols*
  • Dexamethasone / pharmacology
  • Edema / drug therapy*
  • Edema / pathology
  • Eucalyptol
  • Eucalyptus*
  • Histamine Release / drug effects
  • Indomethacin / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Mast Cells / drug effects*
  • Menthol / analogs & derivatives*
  • Menthol / pharmacology
  • Monoterpenes*
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology*
  • Plants, Medicinal / chemistry*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Serotonin / metabolism
  • Substance P / metabolism
  • Terpenes*
  • Time Factors
  • p-Methoxy-N-methylphenethylamine / pharmacology


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Cyclohexanols
  • Monoterpenes
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Terpenes
  • Menthol
  • Serotonin
  • Substance P
  • p-Methoxy-N-methylphenethylamine
  • Dexamethasone
  • Eucalyptol
  • Indomethacin