In traditional Moroccan medicine, the roots of Pulicaria odora L. (PO) are used against menstrual cramps and intestinal disorders and are highly valued as a spice for their flavor. Several natural compounds are characterized by various biological properties such as antimicrobial, antiviral, antioxidant, anticancer, and anti-aging.
In this study, PO essential oil (EO) is evaluated for the first time for its effect i) on the HTERT gene, a catalytic enzyme that is required for telomerase activity, ii) on the human keratinocyte growth factor (KGF), a secreted protein that could play an important role in the repair of skin injury and that has also been implicated to play a role in other diseases, iii) and on the Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) which plays an essential role in regulating the cell cycle and energy homeostasis. The EO of PO roots was obtained by hydrodistillation and analyzed by GC/MS. We used Quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reactions (qRT-PCR) to determine the effect of the EO on expression levels of KGF, SIRT1, and HTERT genes in HaCaT cells.
We have identified 22 volatile compounds representing 93.76% of the oil by GC/MS. The oil was dominated by oxygenated compounds with about 93.32% against only 0.44% of terpene hydrocarbons. The KGF expression level in HaCaT cells exposed to EO is found to be significantly higher than resveratrol (RSV) (p<0.05). Also, the EO and resveratrol have induced a similar activity on HTERT and SIRT1 expression (p<0.05).