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Food Chem Toxicol. 2007 Jan;45(1):88-92. Epub 2006 Aug 30.

Anticlastogenic activity of thymoquinone against benzo(a)pyrene in mice.

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Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Helwan University, Helwan, Cairo, Egypt.


Thymoquione (TQ), the main constituent of the volatile oil of Nigella sativa seeds, has been shown to protect mice against benzo(a)pyrene [B(a)P]-induced forestomach carcinogenesis. The present investigation was undertaken to study the possible chemopreventive activity of TQ, supplemented in the drinking water, against B(a)P-induced chromosomal aberrations (CAs) in mouse bone marrow cells. Male Swiss albino mice received TQ (0.01% in drinking water) daily for 28 days. The daily dose of TQ was estimated to be 10mg/kg based on the calculated average daily water consumption by mice. From day 9, the carcinogen, B(a)P, was given by gastric intubation at dose level of 50mg/kg on alternative days for a total of 8 doses. On day 29, all mice were transferred to a normal drinking tap water. Control groups received corn oil vehicle, TQ alone or B(a)P alone. All mice were sacrificed at 12 weeks after the end of the treatment. Chromosome preparations were made of bone marrow. Cytogenetic end points screened were the frequencies of CAs and damaged cells induced. Daily intake of TQ after and before or during exposure to B(a)P significantly reduced the frequencies of CAs and damaged cells compared to the highly clastogenic activity of B(a)P alone.

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