Keywords: radioprotection, Acorus calamus, DNA damage, DNA repair, comet assay, whole-body irradiation, gamma radiation, low radiation, radiation exposure, peripheral blood leucocytes, bone marrow cells, splenocytes
Radioprotection by Acorus calamus: studies on in vivo DNA damage and repair
Whole-body exposure of mice to 4 Gy γ-irradiation resulted in considerable damage in the genomic DNA of peripheral blood leucocytes, bone marrow cells and splenocytes. An alkaline comet assay revealed that the nuclear DNA comet parameters of these cells, such as %DNA in tail, tail length, tail moment and Olive tail moment, had increased following whole-body γ-irradiation. Administration of Acorus calamus extract (250 mg/kg body weight) orally to mice 1 h prior to whole-body γ-irradiation exposure prevented the increase in the comet parameters of cellular DNA. The comet parameters were found to decrease with postirradiation time, indicative of a decrease in radiation-induced DNA lesions due to DNA repair. The administration of the extract enhanced DNA repair, as can be inferred from the rate of postirradiation decrease of the comet parameters. Thus the present study revealed that administration of A. calamus extract protected the cellular DNA from radiation-induced damage and enhanced DNA repair in whole-body irradiated mice.