Interactions of free radicals from ionizing radiation with DNA can induce DNA damage and lead to mutagenesis and carsinogenesis. With respect to radiation damage to human, it is important to protect humans from side effects induced by ionizing radiation. In the present study, the effects of arbutin were investigated by using the micronucleus test for anti-clastogenic activity, to calculate the ratio of polychromatic erythrocyte to polychromatic erythrocyte plus normochromatic erythrocyte (PCE/PCE+NCE) in order to show cell proliferation activity.
Arbutin (50, 100, and 200 mg/kg) was intraperitoneally (ip)administered to NMRI mice two hours before gamma radiation at 2 and 4 gray (Gy). The frequency of micronuclei in 1000 PCEs (MnPCEs) and the ratio of PCE/PCE+NCE were calculated for each sample. Data were statistically evaluated using one-way ANOVA, Tukey HSD test, and t-test.
The findings indicated that gamma radiation at 2 and 4 Gy extremely increased the frequencies of MnPCE (P<0.001) while reducing PCE/PCE+NCE (P<0.001) compared to the control group. All three doses of arbutin before irradiation significantly reduced the frequencies of MnPCEs and increased the ratio of PCE/PCE+NCE in mice bone marrow compared to the non-drug-treated irradiated control (P<0.001). All three doses of arbutin had no toxicity effect on bone marrow cells. The calculated dose reduction factor (DRF) showed DRF=1.93 for 2Gy and DRF=2.22 for 4 Gy.