Protective Effects of Boerhaavia diffusa L. Against Radiation—Induced Damage

Studies on the Protective Effects of Boerhaavia diffusa L. Against Gamma Radiation—Induced Damage in Mice

K.A. Manu, MSc

Amala Cancer Research Centre, Amala Nagar, Kerala State, India

P.V. Leyon, PhD

Amala Cancer Research Centre, Amala Nagar, Kerala State, India

Girija Kuttan, PhD

Amala Cancer Research Centre, Amala Nagar, Kerala State, India, amalaresearch@rediffmail.com

The radioprotective effect of the hydro-alcoholic extract of Boerhaavia diffusa was studied using the in vivo mice model. The sublethally irradiated mice (600 rads, single dose) were treated intraperitoneally with 20 mg/kg of the extract.

The animals were sacrificed at different time periods after the whole-body radiation. The most affected tissues—bone marrow and intestine—were considerably protected by the intraperitoneal administration of B. diffusa as estimated by bone marrow cellularity, maturing monocytes, and intestinal glutathione.

Total white blood cell count was lowered drastically after radiation exposure (ninth day, 1500 ± 500 cells/ mm3). When the animals were exposed to radiation and treated with B. diffusa, the total white blood cell count was lowered only to 4000 ± 400 cells/mm3 on the third day, and it reached an almost normal level (6250 ± 470 cells/mm 3) by the ninth day.

The elevated level of serum and liver alkaline phosphatase after radiation exposure was reduced in the B. diffusa—treated group. The serum and liver glutamate pyruvate transferase, which were elevated after radiation exposure, were also reduced by treatment with B. diffusa compared to the control.

The lipid peroxidation level also increased in the irradiated animals both in the liver and serum, but in B. diffusa —treated animals, there was a significant reduction in lipid peroxidation levels. The agarose gel electrophoresis of DNA isolated from bone marrow of mice exposed to gamma radiation showed heavy damage that was reduced by treatment with B. diffusa.

These results are indicative of the radioprotective effect of the whole-plant extract of B. diffusa.

Integrative Cancer Therapies, Vol. 6, No. 4, 381-388 (2007) DOI: 10.1177/1534735407309743

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