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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014, Article ID 784689, 7 pages
Research Article

Effect of Estragole on Leukocyte Behavior and Phagocytic Activity of Macrophages

1Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, State University of Maringá, Avenida Colombo 5790, 870020-900 Maringá, PR, Brazil
2Department of Clinical Analyses, State University of Maringá, 870020-900 Maringá, PR, Brazil
3Department of Chemistry, State University of Maringá, 870020-900 Maringá, PR, Brazil

Received 24 April 2014; Revised 6 June 2014; Accepted 21 June 2014; Published 23 July 2014

Academic Editor: Yew-Min Tzeng

Copyright © 2014 Francielli Maria de Souza Silva-Comar et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Estragole, a chemical constituent of the essential oils of many aromatic plants, is used as flavoring in beverage and food industries. In vivo and in vitro experimental assays have shown that EST has sedative, anticonvulsant, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anesthetic activity. In this work, we evaluate the effect of EST on leukocyte behavior and phagocytic activity of macrophages. In the peritonitis model, EST (500 and 750 mg/kg) decreased the infiltration of peritoneal exudate leukocytes. In vitro chemotaxis assay showed that EST (3, 10, 30, and 60 μg/mL) inhibited neutrophil migration toward fMLP. In the in vivo microcirculation assay, EST at doses of 250, 500, and 750 mg/kg significantly reduced the number of rolling and adherent leukocytes and at doses of 250 and 500 mg/kg decreased number of leukocyte migrated to perivascular tissue. The results showed that EST (3, 10, and 30 μg/mL) was able to stimulate the macrophages phagocytosis but only at concentration of 10 μg/mL promoted an increase in nitric oxide (NO) production. In conclusion, this study showed that EST had potential anti-inflammatory effects, likely by inhibiting leukocyte migration and by stimulating macrophages phagocytosis.