Withaferin A: A new radiosensitizer from the Indian medicinal plant withania somnifera

P. Uma Devi, K. Akagi, V. Ostapenko, Y. Tanaka, T. Sugahara

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82 Citations (Scopus)


Withaferin A, a steroidal lactone isolated from the roots of the Indian medicinal plant Withania somnifera, reduced survival of V79 cells in a dose-dependent manner. LD50 for survival was 16 μM. One-hour treatment with a nontoxic dose of 2.1 μM before irradiation significantly enhanced cell killing, giving a sensitizer enhancement ratio (SER) of 1.5 for 31% survival and 1.4 for 10% survival. SER increased with drug dose, but at higher doses the increased lethality appears to be due to two effects-drug toxicity and radiosensitization. The drug induced a G2-M block, with a maximum accumulation of cells in G2-M phase at 4h after treatment with 10.5 μM withaferin A for 1 h. The applicability of this drug as a radiosensitizer in cancer therapy needs to be explored.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-197
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01-05-1996
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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