Ocotea quixos essential oil was shown to possess significant inhibitory activity of platelet aggregation and clot retraction in rodent plasma. This study is aimed at fully characterizing the antiplatelet activity of the whole essential oil and its main components trans-cinnamaldehyde and methyl cinnamate also in human plasma, at investigating the mechanism underlying such activity and at evaluating the potential antithrombotic activity of subacute treatment of mice with Ocotea essential oil. In vitro Ocotea essential oil and trans-cinnamaldehyde inhibited arachidonic acid-, U46619-, ADP-, phorbol12-myristate13-alcetate-, collagen-induced platelet aggregation and thrombin-induced clot retraction in human and rodent plasma; Ocotea oil and trans-cinnamaldehyde competitively antagonized contractions induced by thromboxane A2 receptor agonist U46619 in rat isolated aortic ring (KB = 18 and 3.2 μg ml−1, respectively). In vivo Ocotea oil, orally administered in a subacute treatment (30–100 mg kg−1 day−1 for 5 days) to mice, prevented acute thrombosis induced by collagen-epinephrine intravenous injection. This antithrombotic activity was not accompanied by pro-haemorragic side effect, as detected by the inactivity in bleeding test, thus showing a favourable safety profile compared to the conventional antiplatelet agent, acetylsalicylic acid. Present findings indicate that Ocotea essential oil possesses potent and safe antithrombotic activity attributable to its antiplatelet and vasorelaxant effects. The main constituent trans-cinnamaldehyde seems to be the primary responsible for this activity through a putative mechanism involving the inhibition of thromboxane A2 receptors.
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