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Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2005 Oct;97(4):238-43.

Protective effect of volatile oil, alcoholic and aqueous extracts of Origanum majorana on lead acetate toxicity in mice.

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Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt.


Natural dietary antioxidants are extensively studied for their ability to protect cells from miscellaneous damages. Origanum majorana L., Lamiaceae, is a potent antioxidant. The effect of administration of O. majorana (volatile oil, alcoholic and aqueous extracts) on oral administration of lead acetate in the diet of mice at concentration 0.5% (W/W) for one month were studied by measuring serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), urea and creatinine, histopathological changes of the liver and kidney and genotoxicity including, rate of micronucleus and chromosomal aberrations in bone marrow cells. Mice were treated with the 3 different forms of O. majorana, one month before and maintained with lead acetate administration. The 3 forms of O. majorana induced a significant decrease in serum activities of transaminases (AST & ALT), ALP, urea and creatinine and improved the liver and kidney histology in comparison with lead acetate treated group. Alcoholic extracts of O. majorana significantly reduced the rate of micronucleus, number of aberrant cells and different kinds of chromosomal aberrations. Volatile oil extract significantly reduced the rate of micronucleus and chromosomal fragments. Aqueous extract and volatile oil also of O. majorana significantly reduced number of gaps, ring chromosome and stickiness. It could be concluded that O. majorana plays an important role in ameliorating liver and kidney functions and genotoxicity induced by lead toxicity.

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