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Mol Cell Biochem. 2005 Sep;277(1-2):43-8.

Radiation protection by Terminalia chebula: some mechanistic aspects.

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Radiation Biology and Health Sciences Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, Mumbai, 400 085, India.


Radioprotective ability of the aqueous extract of the fruit of Terminalia chebula (TCE) was evaluated for its antioxidant and radioprotective abilities. TCE (50 microg) was able to neutralise 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl, a stable free radical by 92.9%. The free radical neutralizing ability of TCE was comparable to that of ascorbate (100 microM) 93.5% and gallic acid (100 microM) 91.5% and was higher than that of the diethyldithiocarbamate (200 microM) 55.4%, suggesting the free radical activity of TCE. TCE protected the plasmid DNA pBR322 from undergoing the radiation-induced strand breaks. Radiation damage converts the supercoiled form (ccc) of plasmid to open circular form (oc); the presence of TCE during radiation exposure protected the plasmid from undergoing these damages. The administration of TCE (80 mg/kg body weight, i.p.) prior to whole body irradiation of mice (4 Gy) resulted in a reduction of peroxidation of membrane lipids in the mice liver as well as a decrease in radiation-induced damage to DNA, as assayed by single-cell gel electrophoresis (comet assay). TCE also protected the human lymphocytes from undergoing the gamma radiation-induced damage to DNA exposed in vitro to 2 Gy gamma-radiation. These results suggest the radioprotective ability of TCE.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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