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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 343942, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/343942
Research Article

An In Vitro System Comprising Immortalized Hypothalamic Neuronal Cells (GT1–7 Cells) for Evaluation of the Neuroendocrine Effects of Essential Oils

1Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Yamagata University, 2-2-2 Iida-Nishi, Yamagata-shi, Yamagata 990-9585, Japan
2Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy, Musashino University, 1-1-20 Shin-machi, Nishitokyo-shi, Tokyo 202-8585, Japan
3School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kyushu University of Health and Welfare, 1714-1 Yoshino-cho, Nobeoka-shi, Miyazaki 882-8508, Japan

Received 6 August 2015; Accepted 4 October 2015

Academic Editor: Giacinto Bagetta

Copyright © 2015 Dai Mizuno 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.

Abstract

Aromatherapy and plant-based essential oils are widely used as complementary and alternative therapies for symptoms including anxiety. Furthermore, it was reportedly effective for the care of several diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and depressive illness. To investigate the pharmacological effects of essential oils, we developed an in vitro assay system using immortalized hypothalamic neuronal cells (GT1–7 cells). In this study, we evaluated the effects of essential oils on neuronal death induced by hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), aluminum, zinc, or the antagonist of estrogen receptor (tamoxifen). Among tests of various essential oils, we found that H2O2-induced neuronal death was attenuated by the essential oils of damask rose, eucalyptus, fennel, geranium, ginger, kabosu, mandarin, myrrh, and neroli. Damask rose oil had protective effects against aluminum-induced neurotoxicity, while geranium and rosemary oil showed protective activity against zinc-induced neurotoxicity. In contrast, geranium oil and ginger oil enhanced the neurotoxicity of tamoxifen. Our in vitro assay system could be useful for the neuropharmacological and endocrine pharmacological studies of essential oils.