Active constituents isolated from (ER) steam distilled essential oil (SDEO) against PC-3 prostate cancer cell growth remain unclear. To clarify the puzzle, ER SDEO was extracted and further resolved into six isolated fractions ERF1-F6 with Sephadex LH-20 gel filtration chromatography to analyze their biological activities. Active ingredients in the isolated fractions were analyzed with GC-MS. Potential isolated fractions were selected to treat PC-3 cells with direct action and indirect treatment by mouse splenocyte- (SCM) and macrophage-conditioned media (MCM). The relationship between PC-3 cell viabilities and corresponding total polyphenols, flavonoid contents as well as Th1/Th2 cytokine profiles in SCM was analyzed using the Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient (r). As a result, ERF1-F3 was abundant in total polyphenols and flavonoids contents with diverse active ingredients. Treatments with ERF1-F3 at appropriate concentrations more or less inhibit PC-3 cell growth in a direct action manner. Only SCM, respectively, cultured with ER SDEO and ERF1-F3 markedly enhanced the effects to inhibit PC-3 cell growth, suggesting that secretions by splenocytes might involve anti-PC-3 effects. There are significantly negative correlations between PC-3 cell viabilities and IL-2, IL-10 as well as IL-10/IL-2 ratios in the corresponding SCM. Total polyphenol and flavonoid contents in the media cultured with ER SDEO isolated fractions positively correlated with IL-10 (Th2) and IL-10/IL-2 (Th2/Th1) cytokine secretion ratios by splenocytes, indicating that polyphenol and flavonoid components in ER SDEO isolated fractions promote Th2-polarized and anti-inflammatory characteristics. These new findings concluded that the inhibitory effects against PC-3 prostate cancer cell growth are attributed to active anti-inflammatory ingredients in ER SDEO and its active ERF1-F3 fractions through direct action and indirect treatment by modulating splenocytes’ cytokine secretion profiles.
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