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J Radiat Res. 2014 Jul;55(4):699-706. doi: 10.1093/jrr/rru013. Epub 2014 Mar 14.

Dragon's blood and its extracts attenuate radiation-induced oxidative stress in mice.

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School of Life Science, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, China.
The General Hospital of the People's Liberation Army (Hospital 301), Beijing 100853, China.
China Institute of Atomic Energy, Beijing 102413, China.
Lanzhou Institute of Modern Physics, Lanzhou 730000, China.
School of Life Science, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, China


Dragon's blood (DB) possesses great medicinal values due to the presence of several phenolic compounds. This study was designed to investigate the effects of DB and its extracts (DBEs) on oxidative stress in mice exposed to whole body (60)Co-γ irradiation (4 Gy). DB and DBEs were intragastrically administered to mice for 5 d prior to radiation. The antioxidant activities, including malondialdehyde (MDA), superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione (GSH) levels in liver and spleen were measured using kits. Furthermore, DB and DBE effects were determined by organ indices and histology of liver and spleen. Our results indicated that the DB and DBE-treated groups showed a significant decrease (P < 0.05) in levels of MDA in liver and spleen compared with the irradiation-only group. Moreover, the activity of SOD, CAT and the level of GSH in liver and spleen tissue were enhanced significantly (P < 0.05) in the DB and DBE groups. DB and DBE also had a significant effect on the recovery of thymus indices. The histological observations of groups having treatment with DB and DBE indicated significant reduction in the radiation-induced damage to the liver and spleen, together with improvement in the morphology of the liver and spleen. These results suggest that DB and DBE treatment prevents radiation-induced oxidative stress injury and restores antioxidant status and histopathological changes in the liver and spleen, but there is need for further study to explore the precise molecular mechanism and strategy for optimal practical application of DB and DBE.


dragon's blood; irradiation; oxidative stress; radioprotective effects

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