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Indian J Pharmacol. 2018 Nov-Dec;50(6):326-331. doi: 10.4103/ijp.IJP_480_18.

Evaluation of Rasna panchaka (indigenous drug) as oxidative stress down-regulator using serum-free explant culture system.

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Food and Drug Toxicology Research Centre, ICMR National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, Telangana, India.



The importance of phytochemicals/natural products as potential therapeutic agents in the present context is gaining a lot of importance. India with a rich heritage of such preparations needs evaluation as potent drugs. Explant culture system is a method, which is sensitive, reliable, reproducible and is capable of mimicking the in situ conditions maintaining the tissue in sufficiently high level of integration.


The current study aimed to test the antioxidant activity of test compounds, namely, traditional aqueous (4212) and aqueous-methanolic (4308) extracts of Rasna panchaka using liver explant cultures.


Dose-response optima of extracts (0.2-10 μg/mL) were determined using mouse liver explant culture system up to 48 h. The antioxidant property of extracts was assessed by primary oxidative defense parameters, namely, superoxide-dismutase (SOD), catalase, reduced glutathione (GSH), and malondialdehyde (MDA).


The results indicated that the cellular architecture of the cultured tissue was well conserved in the first 6 h with a gradual display of specific changes in the next 24 h. There was a significant increase in MDA levels in experimental groups indicating the oxidative stress induction in explants. A dose of 2.0 μg/mL extracts have shown statistically significant (P < 0.05) protection against oxidative stress. MDA levels, a measure of lipid peroxidation, were significantly (P < 0.01) reduced by 50% in extract treated explants compared to control. This effect was accompanied by the increase in the first defense enzymes SOD (50%) and catalase (18%) with no change in reduced GSH levels.


The study enforces the importance of "explant culture system," as it not only reduces the use of nonclinical/animal model but also is rapid and sensitive. Further, results of the current study also suggest that aqueous-methanolic extract of Rasna panchaka is having superior antioxidant activity compared to traditional water extract.


Liver explant culture; Rasna panchaka; oxidative stress

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