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Molecules 2019, 24(6), 1071; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24061071

In Vitro Effects of Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca Alternifolia Essential Oil) and its Principal Component Terpinen-4-ol on Swine Spermatozoa

1
Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna, via Tolara di Sopra 50, 40064 Ozzano dell’Emilia (BO), Italy
2
Unit on Ocular Stem Cell and Translational Research, National Eye Institute (NEI), 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
3
Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Bologna, via Fanin 44, 40127 Bologna, Italy
4
Department of Life Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, via Giuseppe Campi 103, 41125 Modena, Italy
5
APA-CT S.r.l., via Sacco Nicola 22, 47122 Forlì, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 February 2019 / Revised: 11 March 2019 / Accepted: 15 March 2019 / Published: 19 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Products Chemistry)
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Abstract

The growing interest towards essential oils stems from their biological capabilities that include antibacterial and antioxidant effects. Such properties may be extremely useful in the reproductive field; nonetheless essential oils show toxic effects that can lead to cell disruption. The present study aimed to evaluate and compare the effects of tea tree oil (TTO) and its principal component terpinen-4-ol (TER) on the morpho-functional parameters of swine spermatozoa. Experimental samples were prepared by suspending 15 × 107 spermatozoa in 5 mL of medium with different concentrations of the above-mentioned compounds: from 0.2 to 2 mg/mL at an interval of 0.2 for TTO, while TER concentrations were adjusted according to its presence in TTO (41.5%). After 3 h incubation at 16 °C, samples were analyzed for pH, viability, acrosome status, and objective motility. The results highlighted a concentration-dependent effect of TTO with total motility as the most sensitive parameter. TER was better tolerated, and the most sensitive parameters were related to membrane integrity, suggesting a different pattern of interaction. The study confirms the importance of evaluating the effects of natural compounds on spermatozoa before exploiting their beneficial effects. Spermatozoa seem to be good candidates for preliminary toxicological screenings in the light of their peculiar properties. View Full-Text
Keywords: tea tree oil; melaleuca alternifolia; terpinen-4-ol; essential oil; swine spermatozoa; toxicity tea tree oil; melaleuca alternifolia; terpinen-4-ol; essential oil; swine spermatozoa; toxicity
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Elmi, A.; Ventrella, D.; Barone, F.; Carnevali, G.; Filippini, G.; Pisi, A.; Benvenuti, S.; Scozzoli, M.; Bacci, M.L. In Vitro Effects of Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca Alternifolia Essential Oil) and its Principal Component Terpinen-4-ol on Swine Spermatozoa. Molecules 2019, 24, 1071.

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