The purpose of this study was to analyse the major compound in the leaf essential oil of Cinnamomum osmophloeum Kaneh. and to examine its in vivo toxicity and cytokine-modulatory effects. The HS-GC/MS and quantitative HPLC analyses showed the concentrations of the major compounds, cinnamaldehyde, benzaldehyde and 3-phenylpropionaldehyde, in the leaf essential oil of Cinnamomum osmophloeum to be 16.88, 1.28 and 1.70 mg/mL, respectively. Acute and sub-acute toxicity tests identified no significant changes in body weight, liver and kidney function indices, and pathology for the mice treated with up to 1 mL/kg body weight of Cinnamomum osmophloeum leaf essential oil or up to 4 mg/kg body weight of cinnamaldehyde. A murine model was established using ovalbumin (OVA)-primed Balb/C mice treated with various concentrations of Cinnamomum osmophloeum leaf essential oil or cinnamaldehyde daily for 4 weeks. The results of tests with commercial ELISA kits indicated no significant cytokine-modulatory effects in mice treated with Cinnamomum osmophloeum leaf essential oil; however, the serum concentrations of IL-2, IL-4 and IL-10, but not IFN-γ, significantly increased in animals treated with 1 mg/kg body weight of cinnamaldehyde during the 4-week period. The possibility that the other constituents act as antagonists of cinnamaldehyde cannot be excluded.
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