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Journal of Medical Biochemistry

The Journal of Society of Medical Biochemists of Serbia

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Vitex Agnus-Castus L. Essential Oil Increases Human Erythrocyte Membrane Fluidity

Vladimir Ajdžanović1 / Ivan Spasojević1 / Jasmina Pantelić1 / Branka Šošić-Jurjević1 / Branko Filipović1 / Verica Milošević1 / Walter Severs1

Department of Cytology, Institute for Biological Research »Siniša Stanković«, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia1

Life Systems Department, Institute for Multidisciplinary Research, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia2

Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, Pennsylvania State University, Hershey, PA, USA3

This content is open access.

Citation Information: Journal of Medical Biochemistry. Volume 31, Issue 3, Pages 222–227, ISSN (Online) 1452-8266, ISSN (Print) 1452-8258, DOI: 10.2478/v10011-011-0055-x, April 2012

Publication History

Published Online:
2012-04-03

Vitex Agnus-Castus L. Essential Oil Increases Human Erythrocyte Membrane Fluidity

Erythrocyte membrane fluidity is related to their rheologic behavior, the dynamic quality of erythrocytes, which is tempted in hypertension and atherosclerosis. An increased risk of these and other cardiovascular diseases occurs in ageing women. Menopause-related conditions are often treated with hormone replacement therapy that may increase the risk of malignancies. Vitex agnus-castus L. essential oil contains various organic compounds (monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes and terpenoids), and is increasingly used as an alternative therapy for menopausal symptoms. These components of the oil may be incorporated into cell membranes, thereby changing the membrane fluidity. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of Vitex agnus-castus essential oil on human erythrocyte membrane fluidity at graded depths. We used Electron Paramagnetic Resonance spectroscopy and fatty acid spin probes (5-doxyl stearic acid and 12-doxyl stearic acid), whose spectra depend on membrane fluidity. After treatment with Vitex agnus-castus essential oil the erythrocytes had a significant (p=0.029) and reversible increase in membrane fluidity in the deeper hydrophobic membrane regions, with no change (p>0.05) in fluidity near the membrane's hydrophilic surface. These results document increased fluidity of the human erythrocyte membrane by Vitex agnus-castus essential oil, and this action may be useful in patients with menopause-related hypertension and other cardiovascular conditions.

Esencijalno Ulje Biljke Vitex Agnus-Castus L. Povećava Fluidnost Eritrocitne Membrane

Fluidnost membrane eritrocita uslovljava njihove reološke karakteristike, svojevrsne dinamičke kvalitete, izmenjene u hipertenziji i aterosklerozi. Rizik od navedenih i drugih kardiovaskularnih oboljenja se kod žena povećava sa starenjem. Tegobe koje prate menopauzu se obično ublažavaju supstitucionom hormonskom terapijom, koja može povećati rizik od pojave malignih oboljenja. Esencijalno ulje biljke Vitex agnus-castus L. sadrži različita organska jedinjenja (monoterpene, seskviterpene i terpenoide) i sve češće se koristi kao alternativno terapijsko sredstvo za simptome menopauze. Navedene komponente esencijalnog ulja mogu se ugraditi u ćelijske membrane i menjati njihovu fluidnost. Cilj studije bio je da se utvrde efekti esencijalnog ulja biljke Vitex agnus-castus na fluidnost membrane eritrocita po njenoj dubini. Korišćena je spektroskopija elektronske paramagnetne rezonance i masnokiselinske spinske probe (5-doksil stearinska i 12-doksil stearinska kiselina), čiji spektri zavise od fluidnosti membrane. Nakon tretmana eritrocita esencijalnim uljem biljke Vitex agnus-castus utvrđeno je značajno (p=0,029) i reverzibilno povećanje fluidnosti njihove membrane u dubljim, hidrofobnim regionima, dok u površinskim, hidrofilnim regionima eritrocitne membrane nisu utvrđene značajne promene (p>0,05). Ovi rezultati ukazuju na povećanje fluidnosti eritrocitne membrane nakon tretmana esencijalnim uljem biljke Vitex agnus-castus, što može biti koristan efekat pri tretmanu pacijentkinja sa hipertenzijom i drugim kardiovaskularnim oboljenjima u menopauzi.

Keywords: erythrocytes; membrane fluidity; Vac essential oil; EPR

Keywords: eritrociti; fluidnost membrane; Vac esencijalno ulje; EPR

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