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J Med Food. 2002 Fall;5(3):125-35.

Radioprotective effects in vivo of phenolics extracted from Olea europaea L. leaves against X-ray-induced chromosomal damage: comparative study versus several flavonoids and sulfur-containing compounds.

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Research and Development Department, Furfural Español S.A., Camino Viejo de Pliego s/n, 80320 Alcantarilla, Murcia, Spain.


The radioprotective effects of a polyphenolic extract of Olea europaea L. leaves (OL); the flavonoids diosmin and rutin, which are widely used as pharmaceuticals; and the sulfur-containing compounds dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) and 6-n-propyl-2-thiouracil (PTU) were determined by using the micronucleus test for anticlastogenic activity, evaluating the reduction of the frequency of micronucleated polychromatic erythrocytes (MnPCEs) in bone marrow of mouse before and after X-ray irradiation. With treatment before X-irradiation, the most effective compounds were, in order, rutin > DMSO > OL > PTU > diosmin. These results showed, for the polyphenols studied, a linear correlation (r(2) = 0.965) between anticlastogenic activity and antioxidant capacity. The magnitude of protection with treatment after X-irradiation were lower, and the most effective compounds were, in order, OL > diosmin > rutin; DMSO and PTU lacked radioprotective activity. Therefore, OL is the only substance that showed a significant anticlastogenic activity both before and after X-ray irradiation treatments. Structurally, the free oxygen radicals and lipoperoxyradicals scavenging capacity and, consequently, the anticlastogenic activity of these polyphenolic compounds are based principally on the presence of specific functional groups, mainly catechol groups (rutin, oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol, verbascoside, luteolin), that also increase the stability of the aroxyl-polyphenol radical generated in the above processes.

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