Volatile Composition, Antimicrobial Activity, and In Vitro Innate Immunomodulatory Activity of Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench Essential Oils

Abstract

Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench is a medicinal plant commonly used for the treatment of upper respiratory tract infections, the common cold, sore throat, migraine, colic, stomach cramps, and toothaches and the promotion of wound healing. Based on the known pharmacological properties of essential oils (EOs), we hypothesized that E. purpurea EOs may contribute to these medicinal properties. In this work, EOs from the flowers of E. purpurea were steam-distilled and analyzed by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS), GC with flame-ionization detection (GC–FID), and chiral GC–MS. The EOs were also evaluated for in vitro antimicrobial and innate immunomodulatory activity. About 87 compounds were identified in five samples of the steam-distilled E. purpurea EO. The major components of the E. purpurea EO were germacrene D (42.0 ± 4.61%), α-phellandrene (10.09 ± 1.59%), β-caryophyllene (5.75 ± 1.72%), γ-curcumene (5.03 ± 1.96%), α-pinene (4.44 ± 1.78%), δ-cadinene (3.31 ± 0.61%), and β-pinene (2.43 ± 0.98%). Eleven chiral compounds were identified in the E. purpurea EO, including α-pinene, sabinene, β-pinene, α-phellandrene, limonene, β-phellandrene, α-copaene, β-elemene, β-caryophyllene, germacrene D, and δ-cadinene. Analysis of E. purpurea EO antimicrobial activity showed that they inhibited the growth of several bacterial species, although the EO did not seem to be effective for Staphylococcus aureus. The E. purpurea EO and its major components induced intracellular calcium mobilization in human neutrophils. Additionally, pretreatment of human neutrophils with the E. purpurea EO or (+)-δ-cadinene suppressed agonist-induced neutrophil calcium mobilization and chemotaxis. Moreover, pharmacophore mapping studies predicted two potential MAPK targets for (+)-δ-cadinene. Our results are consistent with previous reports on the innate immunomodulatory activities of β-caryophyllene, α-phellandrene, and germacrene D. Thus, this study identified δ-cadinene as a novel neutrophil agonist and suggests that δ-cadinene may contribute to the reported immunomodulatory activity of E. purpurea.

Description

Keywords

Echinacea purpurea, purple coneflower, essential oil, antimicrobial activity, (+)-δ-cadinene, calcium flux, neutrophil, chemotaxis

Citation

Dosoky NS, Kirpotina LN, Schepetkin IA, Khlebnikov AI, Lisonbee BL, Black JL, Woolf H, Thurgood TL, Graf BL, Satyal P, et al. Volatile Composition, Antimicrobial Activity, and In Vitro Innate Immunomodulatory Activity of Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench Essential Oils. Molecules. 2023; 28(21):7330. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28217330
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