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Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2010 Jun;32(2):284-96. doi: 10.3109/08923970903307552.

Radioprotective effects of black seed (Nigella sativa) oil against hemopoietic damage and immunosuppression in gamma-irradiated rats.

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  • 1Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Menoufiya University-Sadat City Branch, Sadat City, Egypt.



Sixty male Wistar rats, divided into 4 groups, 15 each, were designed as I-control rats, II-rats orally intubated with Nigella sativa oil (1 ml/kg b.wt./day) for 5 days/week, III-whole body gamma irradiated rats with the estimated LD50/30 (4 Gray) and IV-rats daily intubated with Nigella sativa oil then subjected to whole body gamma irradiation, to investigate the radioprotective potential of Nigella crude oil against hemopoietic adverse effects of gamma irradiation.


Irradiation resulted in significant reduction in hemolysin antibodies titers and delayed type hypersensitivity reaction of irradiated rats, in addition to significant leukopenia and significant decrease in plasma total protein and globulin concentrations and depletion of lymphoid follicles of spleen and thymus gland. Furthermore, there was a significant increase in malondialdehyde concentration with a significant decrease in plasma glutathione peroxidase, catalase and erythrocyte superoxide dismutase activities were recorded. Oral administration of Nigella sativa oil before irradiation considerably normalized all the above-mentioned criteria; and produced significant regeneration in spleen and thymus lymphoid follicles.


Our results strongly recommend Nigella sativa oil as a promising natural radioprotective agent against immunosuppressive and oxidative effects of ionizing radiation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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