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Biofactors. 2007;29(1):55-65.

Protective effect of anthocyanin-rich extract from bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) against myelotoxicity induced by 5-fluorouracil.

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Food Safety Research Division, Korea Food Research Institute, San 46-1, Backhyun, Bundang-gu, Sungnam, Kyonggi-do, 463-746, Republic of Korea.


The toxicities associated with 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), a potent broad-spectrum chemotherapeutic agent, can not only affect the morbidity and the efficacy of chemotherapy but also limit its clinical use. The objective of this study is to investigate the effects of a commercial anthocyanin-rich extract from bilberry (AREB) against 5-FU-induced myelotoxicity in vivo, and against chemosensitivity to 5-FU in vitro. A single injection of 5-FU at 200 mg/kg induced severe peripheral erythrocytopenia, thrombocytopenia and leucopenia as well as hypocellularity of the spleen and bone marrow in C57BL/6 mice. Oral administration of 500 mg/kg of AREB for 10 days significantly increased the number of red blood cells, neutrophils, and monocytes in peripheral blood to 1.2-fold, 9-fold, and 6-fold, respectively, compared with those seen after treatment with 5-FU alone (p< 0.05-0.001). The hypocellularity of the spleen and bone marrow caused by 5-FU was also distinctly alleviated in the AREB-treated group. Furthermore, AREB treatment with 50 and 100 microg/ml as a monomeric anthocyanin did not interfere with, but rather enhanced the chemotherapeutic efficacy of 5-FU in vitro. These results suggest that AREB may have protective potential against 5-FU-induced myelotoxiciy and/or the ability to enhance the chemotherapeutic effectiveness of 5-FU.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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