Progress Towards the Development of an in Vitro Assay to Study the Effect of Essential Oils on Inflamed Intestinal Cells

Kyli Kurtenbach and Dr. John Jefferson, Department of Chemistry, Luther College, 700 College Drive, Decorah, IA 52101

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an autoimmune condition in which the
immune system attacks endogenous intestinal cells causing severe inflammation. This
inflammation produces side effects such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, and fatigue. Finding
ways to alleviate these symptoms, such as managing diet, improves the quality of life for
those living with IBD. There is precedent that essential oils (EOs) reduce cell inflammation
by lowering reactive oxygen species (ROS), and that this effect may be enhanced by
lowering cholesterol (CHO). The design of an in vitro method for studying the mechanism
of intestinal cell inflammation and monitoring the effect of EOs would be a great advantage
over the use of live subjects. Published studies have shown that inflammation can be
induced in primary and cultured intestinal cells using lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and the
effects of this inflammation can be compared to the control group by measuring ROS using
the fluorescence characteristics of dichlorofluorescein-diacetate which can be monitored
by fluorescence microscopy. To date, control experiments using H2O2
 to induce oxidative stress have shown that fluorescence increases linearly with respect to cell concentration as
well as [H2O2] until a maximum level of ROS is reached. Fresh tissue from pig small
intestines has been used to closely mimic the biological system. CHO levels offer a possible
mechanism for a connection between inflammation and EOs since it has been shown that
intestinal permeability dysfunction plays a role in active IBD, and higher CHO levels reduce
membrane permeability. Thus, lowering CHO should aid in reducing inflammatory effects,
because lower CHO should enhance the antioxidant effects of EOs because of increased
membrane fluidity and enzyme activity involved in antioxidant reactions.

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Kyli Kurtenbach

Institution: Luther College

Type: Poster

Subject: Biochemistry

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 1
Date/Time: Mon 1:30pm-2:30pm
Session Number: 2142