Treatment of toenail onychomycosis with 2% butenafine and 5% Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil in cream. (1/678)

The prevalence of onychomycosis, a superficial fungal infection that destroys the entire nail unit, is rising, with no satisfactory cure. The objective of this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was to examine the clinical efficacy and tolerability of 2% butenafine hydrochloride and 5% Melaleuca alternifolia oil incorporated in a cream to manage toenail onychomycosis in a cohort. Sixty outpatients (39 M, 21 F) aged 18-80 years (mean 29.6) with 6-36 months duration of disease were randomized to two groups (40 and 20), active and placebo. After 16 weeks, 80% of patients using medicated cream were cured, as opposed to none in the placebo group. Four patients in the active treatment group experienced subjective mild inflammation without discontinuing treatment. During follow-up, no relapse occurred in cured patients and no improvement was seen in medication-resistant and placebo participants.  (+info)

Potentiation of GABAA receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes by perfume and phytoncid. (2/678)

To study the effects of perfume and phytoncid on GABAA receptors, ionotropic GABAA receptors were expressed in Xenopus oocytes by injecting mRNAs that had been prepared from rat whole brain. Essential oil, perfume and such phytoncid as leaf alcohol, hinokitiol, pinene, eugenol, citronellol and citronellal potentiated the response in the presence of GABA at low concentrations (10 and 30 microM), possibly because they bound to the potentiation-site in GABAA receptors and increased the affinity of GABA to the receptors. Since it is known that the potentiation of GABAA receptors by benzodiazepine, barbiturate, steroids and anesthetics induces the anxiolytic, anticonvulsant and sedative activity or anesthetic effect, these results suggest the possibility that the intake of perfume or phytoncid through the lungs, the skin or the intestines modulates the neural transmission in the brain through ionotropic GABAA receptors and changes the frame of the human mind, as alcohol or tobacco does.  (+info)

Lack of effect of spearmint on lower oesophageal sphincter function and acid reflux in healthy volunteers. (3/678)

BACKGROUND: Spearmint is commonly used as an antispasmodic and as a flavouring in several medications including antacids. It can produce heartburn, presumably by lowering lower oesophageal sphincter (LES) tone, but the mechanism has not previously been objectively examined. AIM: To study the effect of spearmint on LES function, acid reflux and symptoms. METHODS: In healthy volunteers, a Dent Sleeve and a pH electrode were placed in the distal oesophagus. They were then given spearmint either in a flavouring (0.5 mg), or a high (500 mg) dose, or a placebo, using a double-blind randomized crossover design. LES pressure, oesophageal pH and symptoms were recorded for 30 min before and after administration. RESULTS: LES pressure was not affected by spearmint, either high dose (19.6 vs. 16.0 mmHg), flavouring dose (20.2 vs. 19.8 mmHg) or placebo (20.5 vs. 19.2 mmHg, all N.S.). There were no differences in reflux occurrence following high dose (mean = 0.65 vs. 0.85 episodes), low dose (0.4 vs. 0.5 episodes) or placebo (0.7 vs. 1.10 episodes, all N.S.). There was a significant increase in mean symptom scores following high-dose spearmint (0 vs. 0.35, P = 0.03), but not low dose (0 vs. 0.2) or placebo (0 vs. 0.5, both N.S.). One subject reported symptoms with placebo, one with low dose, and six with high dose; all without increased reflux episodes or decreased sphincter pressure. CONCLUSION: Spearmint has no effect on LES pressure or acid reflux. Flavouring doses of spearmint do not produce more symptoms than placebo while high doses can be associated with symptoms, presumably from direct mucosal irritation but not reflux.  (+info)

Suppression of cell cycle progression by flavonoids: dependence on the aryl hydrocarbon receptor. (4/678)

Some flavonoids are ligands of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) and cause cell cycle arrest. The dependency of the cytostatic effects of five flavonoids (flavone, alpha-naphthoflavone, apigenin, 3'-methoxy-4'-nitroflavone and 2'-amino-3'-methoxyflavone) on a functional AHR was examined in AHR-containing rat hepatoma 5L cells and an AHR-deficient cell line (BP8) derived from the 5L line. The potent AHR ligand 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) was cytostatic to the 5L line due to the induction of a G(1) arrest and dramatically elevated steady-state levels of CYP1A1 mRNA. TCDD affected neither the proliferation nor CYP1A1 mRNA contents of BP8 cells. With the exception of apigenin, the flavonoids under study induced G(1) arrest in both 5L and BP8 cells when used at concentrations at which they functioned as AHR agonists, but not antagonists. Apigenin-treated 5L and BP8 cultures primarily arrested in G(2)/M. The AHR-containing murine hepatoma cell line 1c1c7 arrested following exposure to AHR agonist concentrations of flavone and alpha-naphthoflavone, but not TCDD. Unlike the G(1) arrest observed in 5L cultures, the latter two flavonoids caused principally G(2)/M arrest in 1c1c7 cells. These studies demonstrate that the cytostatic activities of flavonoids do not require the AHR and the site of checkpoint arrest with a specific flavonoid can vary with cell type.  (+info)

Elemene induces apoptosis and regulates expression of bcl-2 protein in human leukemia K562 cells. (5/678)

AIM: To study the antitumor action of elemene (Ele) and its mechanism. METHODS: Inhibition of proliferation was measured with a colorimetric 3-[4,5-dimethyl thiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Morphological assessment of apoptosis was performed with fluorescence microscope. DNA fragmentation was assessed by agarose gel electrophoresis and flow cytometry. The levels of bcl-2 protein was measured with flow cytometry. RESULTS: Exposure of exponentially growing K562 cells to Ele 65-520 mumol. L-1 for 48 h resulted in growth arrest. The values of IC50 and 95% confidence limits were 220 (152-319) mumol.L-1. After treatment of K562 cells with Ele 130 mumol.L-1, marked morphological changes including "Apo bodies" reduction in volume were observed with fluorescence microscope. Agarose gel electrophoresis of DNA from cells treated with Ele for 48 h revealed "ladder" pattern. The levels of bcl-2 protein in K562 cells treated with Ele for 48 h were obviously decreased. CONCLUSION: Ele induces apoptosis of K562 cells, which is related with the down-regulation of bcl-2 protein in K562 cells.  (+info)

Antibacterial activity of Ocimum gratissimum L. essential oil. (6/678)

The essential oil (EO) of Ocimum gratissimum inhibited Staphylococcus aureus at a concentration of 0.75 mg/ml. The minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) for Shigella flexineri, Salmonella enteritidis, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella sp., and Proteus mirabilis were at concentrations ranging from 3 to 12 microg/ml. The endpoint was not reached for Pseudomonas aeruginosa (>=24 mg/ml). The MICs of the reference drugs used in this study were similar to those presented in other reports. The minimum bactericidal concentration of EO was within a twofold dilution of the MIC for this organism. The compound that showed antibacterial activity in the EO of O. gratissimum was identified as eugenol and structural findings were further supported by gas chromatography/mass spectra retention time data. The structure was supported by spectroscopic methods.  (+info)

Alteration of perceived fragrance of essential oils in relation to type of work: a simple screening test for efficacy of aroma. (7/678)

The perceptional change of fragrance of essential oils is described in relation to type of work, i.e. mental work, physical work and hearing environmental (natural) sounds. The essential oils examined in this study were ylang ylang, orange, geranium, cypress, bergamot, spearmint and juniper. In evaluating change in perception of a given aroma, a sensory test was employed in which the perception of fragrance was assessed by 13 contrasting pairs of adjectives. Scores were recorded after inhaling a fragrance before and after each type of work, and the statistical significance of the change of score for 13 impression descriptors was examined by Student's t-test for each type of work. It was confirmed that inhalation of essential oil caused a different subjective perception of fragrance depending on the type of work. For example, inhalation of cypress after physical work produced a much more favorable impression than before work, in contrast to orange, which produced an unfavorable impression after physical work when compared with that before work. For mental work, inhalation of juniper seemed to create a favorable impression after work, whereas geranium and orange both produced an unfavorable impression then. From these studies, together with those conducted previously with lavender, rosemary, linalool, peppermint, marjoram, cardamom, sandalwood, basil and lime, we thus concluded that the sensory test described here might serve not only as a screening test for efficacy of aroma but also as a categorized table for aroma samples which can act as a reference to each other.  (+info)

Differential induction of plant volatile biosynthesis in the lima bean by early and late intermediates of the octadecanoid-signaling pathway. (8/678)

Plants are able to respond to herbivore damage with de novo biosynthesis of an herbivore-characteristic blend of volatiles. The signal transduction initiating volatile biosynthesis may involve the activation of the octadecanoid pathway, as exemplified by the transient increase of endogenous jasmonic acid (JA) in leaves of lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus) after treatment with the macromolecular elicitor cellulysin. Within this pathway lima bean possesses at least two different biologically active signals that trigger different biosynthetic activities. Early intermediates of the pathway, especially 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid (PDA), are able to induce the biosynthesis of the diterpenoid-derived 4,8, 12-trimethyltrideca-1,3,7,11-tetraene. High concentrations of PDA result in more complex patterns of additional volatiles. JA, the last compound in the sequence, lacks the ability to induce diterpenoid-derived compounds, but is highly effective at triggering the biosynthesis of other volatiles. The phytotoxin coronatine and amino acid conjugates of linolenic acid (e.g. linolenoyl-L-glutamine) mimic the action of PDA, but coronatine does not increase the level of endogenous JA. The structural analog of coronatine, the isoleucine conjugate of 1-oxo-indanoyl-4-carboxylic acid, effectively mimics the action of JA, but does not increase the level of endogenous JA. The differential induction of volatiles resembles previous findings on signal transduction in mechanically stimulated tendrils of Bryonia dioica.  (+info)