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Inflammation Research

, Volume 51, Issue 5, pp 236–244 | Cite as

Tea tree oil reduces the swelling associated with the efferent phase of a contact hypersensitivity response

  • C. Brand
  • M. A. Grimbaldeston
  • J. R. Gamble
  • J. Drew
  • J. J. Finlay-Jones
  • P. H. Hart

Abstract.

Objective: To examine the anti-inflammatory activities of tea tree oil (TTO) in vivo.¶Methods: Mice were sensitized to a chemical hapten, trinitrochlorobenzene, on their ventral skin and 7 days later challenged (or re-exposed) on their dorsal skin with the same hapten.¶Results: TTO applied 30 min before or up to 7 h after to the same dorsal site as hapten challenge caused a significant reduction in skin swelling after 24 h. TTO reduced oedema but not the influx of inflammatory cells. This finding was supported by the inability of TTO to suppress TNFa-induced E-selectin expression by human umbilical vein endothelial cells. TTO did not suppress irritant- or ultraviolet B-induced oedema.¶Conclusion: Topical TTO, specifically the TTO components, terpinen-4-ol and α-terpineol can regulate the oedema associated with the efferent phase of a contact hypersensitivity response.

Key words: Tea tree oil - Contact hypersensitivity - Oedema 

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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Brand
    • 1
  • M. A. Grimbaldeston
    • 1
  • J. R. Gamble
    • 2
  • J. Drew
    • 2
  • J. J. Finlay-Jones
    • 1
  • P. H. Hart
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, School of Medicine and Flinders Medical Research Institute, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide, 5001, Australia, Fax: ++ 61 8 8204 4733, e-mail: Prue.Hart@flinders.edu.auAU
  2. 2.Human Immunology, Hanson Centre, Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science and University of Adelaide, Adelaide, 5000, Australia AU

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