Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Journal of Obesity
Volume 2012, Article ID 104706, 11 pages
Research Article

Effects of Thyme Extract Oils (from Thymus vulgaris, Thymus zygis, and Thymus hyemalis) on Cytokine Production and Gene Expression of oxLDL-Stimulated THP-1-Macrophages

Departamento de Química-Física Aplicada, Área de Tecnología de los Alimentos, Facultad Ciencias, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, C/Fco, Tomás y Valiente 7, 28049 Madrid, Spain

Received 10 October 2011; Revised 18 December 2011; Accepted 26 January 2012

Academic Editor: David M. Mutch

Copyright © 2012 A. Ocaña and G. Reglero. 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.


Properties of thyme extracts from three different species (Thymus vulgaris, Thymus zygis, and Thymus hyemalis) were examined. Two oil fractions from each species were obtained by CO2 supercritical fluid extraction. Main compounds presented in the supercritical extracts of the three thyme varieties were 1,8 cineole, thymol, camphor, borneol, and carvacrol. As a cellular model of inflammation/atherogenesis, we use human macrophages derived from THP-1 monocytes and activated by oxidized LDLs. These cells were incubated with the thyme fraction oils, and the productions and gene expressions of the inflammatory mediators TNF-α, IL-1B, IL-6, and IL-10 were determined. Thyme extracts significantly reduced production and gene expression of the proinflammatory mediators TNF-α, IL-1B, and IL-6 and highly increased these parameters on the anti-inflammatory IL-10 cytokine. Changes on production and gene expressions were dose dependent and according to the thyme content of each species. Taken together, these results may suggest that thyme extracts could have anti-inflammatory effects.