In vivo radioprotective potential of thymol, a monoterpene phenol derivative of cymene

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The radioprotective and anticlastogenic potential of a phenol derivative monoterpene thymol(TOH), against whole-body gamma radiation was studied in Swiss albino mice. Acute toxicity of TOH, with an LD 50(14) of 1134.03mg/kgbwt., was observed when administered intra-peritoneally (i.p.). The radioprotective potential of TOH was evaluated using the optimal dose of 10mg/kgbwt. TOH, which increased the LD 50/30 by 2.17Gy and resulted in a dose reduction factor (DRF) of 1.25. A significant (p<0.01) reduction in micronucleated, polychromatic erythrocytes (PCE), normochromatic erythrocytes (NCE), and an increased PCE/NCE ratio was also observed after administration of 10mg/kg.b.wt. TOH prior to gamma radiation, indicating its antigenotoxic effect. TOH pre-treatment significantly (p<0.01) elevated reduced glutathione, glutathione-S-transferase, catalase, and superoxide dismutase levels and decreased lipid peroxidation levels in mouse liver homogenates at 24 and 48h after exposure to 4.5Gy of radiation. Further, TOH treatment before exposure to 7.5Gy of gamma radiation resulted in a significant (p<0.01) increase in hematological parameters at various post-treatment time points, with increased numbers of endogenous spleen colonies as well. The histological observations indicated a decline in villus heights and crypt numbers in mouse jejunum and were accompanied by a significant decrease in bone marrow nucleated cells in the irradiated group, which was almost normalized by pre-treatment with TOH. Our study clearly documents the antioxidant, anticlastogenic and radioprotective potentials of TOH, which may be attributed to several possible mechanisms, such as normalization of intracellular antioxidant levels and free radical scavenging activities by TOH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-145
Number of pages10
JournalMutation Research - Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 24-12-2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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