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Inflammopharmacology. 2010 Aug;18(4):197-207. doi: 10.1007/s10787-010-0042-8. Epub 2010 May 15.

Ameliorative action of Vernonia cinerea L. on cyclophosphamide-induced immunosuppression and oxidative stress in mice.

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  • 1Department of Immunology, Amala Cancer Research Centre, Amala Nagar, Thrissur, 680555 Kerala, India.


Cyclophosphamide (CTX) is a widely used antineoplastic drug, which could cause toxicity to normal cells due to its toxic metabolites. The use of CTX in treating cancer patients is limited due to its severe toxicity induced mainly by oxidative stress. The present study reports the protective role of Vernonia cinerea L. against the CTX-induced toxicity in Balb/c mice. Intraperitoneal administration of the extract significantly increased the total WBC Count, bone marrow cellularity, alpha-esterase positive cells, and weights of lymphoid organs in CTX-treated animals, when compared with CTX control mice. Administration of V. cinerea was found to reduce the enhanced level of alkaline phosphatase, glutamate pyruvate transaminase, lipid peroxidation, and also significantly increased the reduced glutathione level in CTX-treated animals. Histopathological analysis of small intestine also suggests that extract could reduce the CTX-induced intestinal damage. The level of proinflammatory cytokine TNF-alpha, which was elevated during CTX administration, was significantly reduced by the V. cinerea extract administration. The lowered levels of other cytokines like IFN-gamma, IL-2, GM-CSF, after CTX treatment were also found to be increased by extract administration. Administration of V. cinerea did not compromise the anti-neoplastic activity of CTX. Infact, there was a synergistic action of CTX and V. cinerea in reducing the solid tumors in mice. Methanolic extract of V. cinerea given intraperitoneally (i.p.) showed a significant chemoprotective activity without compromising the chemotherapeutic efficacy of CTX, indicating its possible use as an adjuvant during chemotherapy.

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