Molecular Docking Identifies 1,8-Cineole (Eucalyptol) as A Novel PPARγ Agonist That Alleviates Colon Inflammation

Balaji Venkataraman, Saeeda Almarzooqi, Vishnu Raj, Bhoomendra A. Bhongade, Rajesh B. Patil, Veedamali S. Subramanian, Samir Attoub, Tahir A. Rizvi, Thomas E. Adrian, Sandeep B. Subramanya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Inflammatory bowel disease, comprising Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), is often debilitating. The disease etiology is multifactorial, involving genetic susceptibility, microbial dysregulation, abnormal immune activation, and environmental factors. Currently, available drug therapies are associated with adverse effects when used long-term. Therefore, the search for new drug candidates to treat IBD is imperative. The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ) is highly expressed in the colon. PPARγ plays a vital role in regulating colonic inflammation. 1,8-cineole, also known as eucalyptol, is a monoterpene oxide present in various aromatic plants which possess potent anti-inflammatory activity. Molecular docking and dynamics studies revealed that 1,8-cineole binds to PPARγ and if it were an agonist, that would explain the anti-inflammatory effects of 1,8-cineole. Therefore, we investigated the role of 1,8-cineole in colonic inflammation, using both in vivo and in vitro experimental approaches. Dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced colitis was used as the in vivo model, and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα)-stimulated HT-29 cells as the in vitro model. 1,8-cineole treatment significantly decreased the inflammatory response in DSS-induced colitis mice. 1,8-cineole treatment also increased nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) translocation into the nucleus to induce potent antioxidant effects. 1,8-cineole also increased colonic PPARγ protein expression. Similarly, 1,8-cineole decreased proinflammatory chemokine production and increased PPARγ protein expression in TNFα-stimulated HT-29 cells. 1,8-cineole also increased PPARγ promoter activity time-dependently. Because of its potent anti-inflammatory effects, 1,8-cineole may be valuable in treating IBD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6160
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


  • 1,8-cineole (eucalyptol)
  • DSS-colitis
  • IBD
  • PPARγ

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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