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Immunomodulatory effect of Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) essential oil on immune cells: Mitogen-activated splenocytes and peritoneal macrophages

Introduction: Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) has been traditionally used for the treatment of allergy, autoimmune and chronic inflammatory disorders. The present study aims to investigate the suppressive effects of parsley essential oil on mouse splenocytes and macrophages cells.

Methods and Materials: Parsley essential oil was harvested. It was treated on splenocytes and phytohemagglutinin (PHA) (5 μg/mL) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (10 μg/ mL) activated splenocytes in different concentrations (0.01–100 μg/mL); then, proliferation was assayed by methyl tetrazolium (MTT) method. Treatment was also performed on the macrophages and LPS-stimulated macrophages (10 μg/ml) and the nitrite levels were measured using the diazotization method based on the Griess reaction and MTT assay for evaluation of the viability of the macrophages.

Results: Proliferation of splenocytes in all the treated groups was suppressed. In PHA-stimulated splenocytes, the suppression was seen in all the examined concentrations (0.01–100 μg/mL), while in the unstimulated and LPS-stimulated groups suppression was relatively dose dependent and in high concentration (10 and100 μg/mL).The viability of the macrophages in all groups was the same and in the unstimulated groups; NO suppression was significant in all the concentrations but in LPS-stimulated groups, it was significant in the three higher concentrations (1, 10, and100 μg/mL).

Conclusion: The results of this study indicate that parsley essential oil may be able to suppress the cellular and humoral immune response. It can also suppress both NO production and the functions of macrophages as the main innate immune cells. These results may suggest that parsley essential oil is a proper suppressant for different applications.