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J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2012;75(13-15):765-75. doi: 10.1080/15287394.2012.689804.

Protection by Salvia extracts against oxidative and alkylation damage to DNA in human HCT15 and CO115 cells.

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CBMA-Centre of Molecular and Environmental Biology/Department of Biology, School of Sciences, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal.


DNA damage induced by oxidative and alkylating agents contributes to carcinogenesis, leading to possible mutations if replication proceeds without proper repair. However, some alkylating agents are used in cancer therapy due to their ability to induce DNA damage and subsequently apoptosis of tumor cells. In this study, the genotoxic effects of oxidative hydrogen peroxide (H₂O₂) and alkylating agents N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU) and 1,3-bis-(2-chloroethyl)-1-nitosourea (BCNU) agents were examined in two colon cell lines (HCT15 and CO115). DNA damage was assessed by the comet assay with and without lesion-specific repair enzymes. Genotoxic agents were used for induction of DNA damage in both cell lines. Protective effects of extracts of three Salvia species, Salvia officinalis (SO), Salvia fruticosa (SF), and Salvia lavandulifolia (SL), against DNA damage induced by oxidative and alkylating agents were also determined. SO and SF protected against oxidative DNA damage in HCT15 cells. SO and SL decreased DNA damage induced by MNU in CO115 cells. In addition to chemopreventive effects of sage plant extracts, it was also important to know whether these plant extracts may interfere with alkylating agents such as BCNU used in cancer therapy, decreasing their efficacy. Our results showed that sage extracts tested and rosmarinic acid (RA), the main constituent, protected CO115 cells from DNA damage induced by BCNU. In HCT15 cells, only SF induced a reduction in BCNU-induced DNA damage. Sage water extracts and RA did not markedly change DNA repair protein expression in either cell line. Data showed that sage tea protected colon cells against oxidative and alkylating DNA damage and may also interfere with efficacy of alkylating agents used in cancer therapy.

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