Modification of bone marrow radiosensitivity by medicinal plant extracts

A. Ganasoundari, S. Mahmood Zare, P. Uma Devi

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64 Citations (Scopus)


Withaferin A (WA), a steroidal lactone, and Plumbagin (Pi), a naphthoquinone, from the roots of Withania somnifera and Plumbago rosea, respectively, have been shown to possess growth inhibitory and radiosensitizing effects on experimental mouse tumours. An aqueous extract of the leaves of Ocimum sanctum (OE) was found to protect mice against radiation lethality. Therefore, the radiomodifying effects of the above plant products on the bone marrow of the adult Swiss mouse was studied. Single doses of WA (30 mg kg-1) or PI (5 mg kg-1) were injected intraperitoneally (ip) and OE (10 mg kg-1) was injected ip once daily for five consecutive days. Administration of extracts was followed by 2 Gy whole body gamma irradiation. Bone marrow stem cell survival was studied by an exogenous spleen colony unit (CFU-S) assay. The effects of WA and P1 were compared with that of cyclophosphamide (CP) and radioprotection by OE was compared with that of WR-2721 (WR). Radiation reduced the CFU-S to less than 50% of normal. WA, CP and P1 significantly enhanced this effect and reduced the CFU-S to almost the same extent (to < 20% of normal), although individually WA and P1 were less cytotoxic than CP. These results indicate that radiosensitization by WA and P1 is not tumour specific. OE significantly increased CFU-S compared with radiotherapy (RT) alone. OE + RT gave a higher stem cell survival (p < 0.05) than that produced by WR + RT. While WR alone had a toxic effect, OE treatment showed no such effect, suggesting that the latter may have an advantage over WR in clinical application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)599-602
Number of pages4
JournalBritish Journal of Radiology
Issue numberJUNE
Publication statusPublished - 01-06-1997
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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