Abrin is a plant glycoprotein toxin from the seeds of Abrus precatorius, and shares
the structure and properties with ricin. Abrin is highly toxic, with an estimated
human fatal dose of 0.1-1 μg/kg, causing death after accidental and intentional poisoning.
It is a potent toxin warfare agent. There are no antidotes available for abrin intoxication.
It is becoming increasingly important to develop countermeasures for abrin by developing
pre- and post-exposure medical therapy. The present study involves the screening of
certain pharmaceutical agents for their potential to counter abrin toxicity in Jurkat
T lymphocytes and the probable mechanism of action of the compounds with protective
effect. The compounds studied are: Prednisolone, Minocycline, Amifostine, DRDE-07
(amifostine analog), Melatonin, Ebselen, N-Acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC) and Trolox. Among
them, only NAC and trolox were found to confer significant protection in Jurkat cells
by restoring antioxidant enzymes depleted by abrin treatment. Abrin also shown to
increase in stress factor associated proteins SAPK/JNK, c-fos and c-jun levels which
were effectively suppressed by NAC and trolox. In addition to this, both compounds
significantly inhibit abrin induced inflammation and caspase-3 activity. These data
suggest that NAC and trolox may serve as potential candidates for management of abrin-induced