Vorobyova A.K.1, Alinkina E.S.1, Misharina T.A.1, Fatkullina L.D.1, Burlakova E.B.1, Khokhlov A.N.2
1Laboratory of Physico-Chemical Fundamentals of Biological System Regulation,
Carvacrol-bearing essential oils (EO) are well known biologically active preparations widely used to improve health, mental abilities, and well-being. Recently we found that one of them, the savory EO, had a positive effect on the average life-span of AKR mice with the high incidence of spontaneous leukemia. Besides, we have shown that one more carvacrol-bearing preparation, the oregano EO, obtained from Origánum vulgáre (its composition is very similar to the composition of the savory EO), increases the average life-span of long-living BALB/c mice. To clarify the possible cytological mechanisms underlying the effects we had studied the oregano EO in experiments on transformed cultured Chinese hamster cells. In the preliminary investigations we evaluated various concentrations of the oil in terms of its cytotoxic or mitogenic effects by analyzing the cell culture density on the 4th day of growth. The concentrations in the growth medium studied (on carvacrol basis) ranged from 1•10-15 to 5•10-4 M. As a result the concentrations of 2.5•10-5 and 2.5•10-4 M were chosen for the further cytogerontological experiments because the former seemed to be 100 % non-toxic and the latter induced just about 50 % reducing in the final cell density. The preparation at 2.5•10-5 M was shown to have no effect neither on colony-forming ability of the cells nor on saturation density (an index of cell culture "biological age") or "stationary phase aging" of the culture (aging-like degradation of cells in the stationary phase of growth). In contrast, oregano EO at 2.5•10-4 M abruptly diminished colony-forming ability of the cells and influenced as a "pro-aging" factor on the saturation density and the death rate in the stationary phase modifying respectively the culture survival curve. Basing on our conception of aging and the data obtained we assumed that the beneficial effect of oregano EO on the mice life-span could be realized at the organismic level only but not related to any anti-aging activity manifesting at the cellular level and improving cell viability.