Citral-Containing Essential Oils as Potential Tyrosinase Inhibitors: A Bio-Guided Fractionation Approach

Francesca Capetti, Massimo Tacchini, Arianna Marengo, Cecilia Cagliero, Carlo Bicchi, Patrizia Rubiolo, Barbara Sgorbini
2021 Plants  
Excessive melanin production causes serious dermatological conditions as well as minor aesthetic problems (i.e., freckles and solar lentigo). The downregulation of tyrosinase is a widespread approach for the treatment of such disorders, and plant extracts have often proven to be valuable sources of tyrosinase inhibitors. Citral (a mixture of neral and geranial) is an important fragrance ingredient that has shown anti-tyrosinase potential. It is highly concentrated in the essential oils (EOs) of
more » ... ntial oils (EOs) of Cymbopogon schoenanthus (L.) Spreng., Litsea cubeba (Lour.) Pers., Melissa officinalis L., and Verbena officinalis L. However, only L. cubeba EO has been investigated for use as a potential skin-whitening agent. This work evaluates the in vitro tyrosinase inhibitory activity of these EOs and studies, using bio-assay oriented fractionation, whether their differing chemical compositions influence the overall EO inhibitory activities via possible synergistic, additive, and/or competitive interactions between EOs components. The inhibitory activity of C. schoenanthus EO and that of M. officinalis EOs, with negligible (+)-citronellal amounts, were in-line with their citral content. On the other hand, L. cubeba and V. officinalis EOs inhibited tyrosinase to considerably greater extents as they contained β-myrcene, which contributed to the overall EO activities. Similar observations were made for M. officinalis EO, which bears high (+)-citronellal content which increased citral activity.
doi:10.3390/plants10050969 pmid:34068076 fatcat:uigsj67uajaxfm244nycovnagi