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Species of the genus Citrus are cultivated in many regions of China and are widely used for medicinal purposes. In the present study, essential oils (EOs) were extracted from four different Citrus species using steam distillation. The chemical components of these four essential oils were separated using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, and 52 compounds were confirmed. D-limonene was found to be the most abundant compound. All four essential oils demonstrated varied but remarkable radical scavenging capacity (IC50 ; 0.77-13.9 %). Citrus paradisi essential oil exhibited excellent antioxidant activity. Compared to ibuprofen, topical application of the four Citrus spp. essential oils significantly inhibited ear edema formation in mice. Furthermore, essential oils from the four Citrus species reduced the expression levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and nuclear transcription factor kappa B p65 (NF-κB) to different degrees. The cytotoxicity of the four essential oils on BV2 microglial cells was determined using the MTT assay (IC50 ; 321.37-1558.87 μg/mL), wherein Citrus limon essential oil showed the lowest cytotoxicity. The essential oils of Citrus limon, Citrus reticulata, and Citrus paradisi had an inhibitory effect on the lung cancer cell lines H1299 by inducing a G0/G1 cell cycle arrest. Cluster and principal component analyses were used to determine the relationship among the Citrus species. These results suggest that the four Citrus essential oils have potential for use as active ingredients in functional foods or cosmeceutical products. © 2022 Wiley-VHCA AG, Zurich, Switzerland.


Chunlian Li, Qiuyang Cai, Xianyi Wu, Zekai Tan, Shiyuan Huang, Chuqi Wei, Weicheng Zhang, Zhuoyu Chen, Lanyue Zhang, Hongping Xiang. Variation in Compositions and Biological Activities of Essential Oils from Four Citrus Species: Citrus limon, Citrus sinensis, Citrus paradisi, and Citrus reticulata. Chemistry & biodiversity. 2022 Apr;19(4):e202100910

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PMID: 35143705

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