Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 474509, 8 pages
Research Article

Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Cumin Essential Oil by Blocking JNK, ERK, and NF-κB Signaling Pathways in LPS-Stimulated RAW 264.7 Cells

1College of Food Science and Engineering, Gansu Agricultural University, Lanzhou 730070, China
2School of Life Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China

Received 14 July 2015; Revised 3 August 2015; Accepted 16 August 2015

Academic Editor: Filippo Maggi

Copyright © 2015 Juan Wei 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.


Cumin seeds (Cuminum cyminum L.) have been commonly used in food flavoring and perfumery. In this study, cumin essential oil (CuEO) extracted from seeds was employed to investigate the anti-inflammatory effects in lipopolysaccharide- (LPS-) stimulated RAW 264.7 cells and the underlying mechanisms. A total of 26 volatile constituents were identified in CuEO by GC-MS, and the most abundant constituent was cuminaldehyde (48.773%). Mitochondrial-respiration-dependent 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium (MTT) reduction assay demonstrated that CuEO did not exhibit any cytotoxic effect at the employed concentrations (0.0005–0.01%). Real-time PCR tests showed that CuEO significantly inhibited the mRNA expressions of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), cyclooxygenase (COX-2), interleukin- (IL-) 1, and IL-6. Moreover, western blotting analysis revealed that CuEO blocked LPS-induced transcriptional activation of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) and inhibited the phosphorylation of extracellular signal regulated kinase (ERK) and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK). These results suggested that CuEO exerted anti-inflammatory effects in LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells via inhibition of NF-κB and mitogen-activated protein kinases ERK and JNK signaling; the chemical could be used as a source of anti-inflammatory agents as well as dietary complement for health promotion.