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      Utilization of cytogenetic biomarkers as a tool for assessment of radiation injury and evaluation of radiomodulatory effects of various medicinal plants – a review

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          Abstract

          Systematic biological measurement of “cytogenetic endpoints” has helped phenomenally in assessment of risks associated with radiation exposure. There has been a surge in recent times for the usage of radioactive materials in health care, agriculture, industrial, and nuclear power sectors. The likelihood of radiation exposure from accidental or occupational means is always higher in an overburdened ecosystem that is continuously challenged to meet the population demands. Risks associated with radiation exposure in this era of modern industrial growth are minimal as international regulations for maintaining the safety standards are stringent and strictly adhered to, however, a recent disaster like “Fukushima” impels us to think beyond. The major objective of radiobiology is the development of an orally effective radio-modifier that provides protection from radiation exposure. Once available for mass usage, these compounds will not only be useful for providing selective protection against accidental and occupational radiation exposure but also help to permit use of higher doses of radiation during treatment of various malignancies curtailing unwarranted adverse effects imposed on normal tissues. Bio-active compounds isolated from natural sources enriched with antioxidants possess unique immune-modulating properties, thus providing a double edged benefit over synthetic radioprotectors. We aim to provide here a comprehensive overview of the various agents originating from plant sources that portrayed promising radioprotection in various experimental models with special emphasis on studies that used cytogenetic biomarkers. The agents will include crude extracts of various medicinal plants, purified fractions, and herbal preparations.

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          Most cited references 163

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          A simple technique for quantitation of low levels of DNA damage in individual cells.

          Human lymphocytes were either exposed to X-irradiation (25 to 200 rads) or treated with H2O2 (9.1 to 291 microM) at 4 degrees C and the extent of DNA migration was measured using a single-cell microgel electrophoresis technique under alkaline conditions. Both agents induced a significant increase in DNA migration, beginning at the lowest dose evaluated. Migration patterns were relatively homogeneous among cells exposed to X-rays but heterogeneous among cells treated with H2O2. An analysis of repair kinetics following exposure to 200 rads X-rays was conducted with lymphocytes obtained from three individuals. The bulk of the DNA repair occurred within the first 15 min, while all of the repair was essentially complete by 120 min after exposure. However, some cells demonstrated no repair during this incubation period while other cells demonstrated DNA migration patterns indicative of more damage than that induced by the initial irradiation with X-rays. This technique appears to be sensitive and useful for detecting damage and repair in single cells.
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            Pharmacology of Curcuma longa.

            The data reviewed indicate that extracts of Curcuma longa exhibit anti-inflammatory activity after parenteral application in standard animal models used for testing anti-inflammatory activity. It turned out that curcumin and the volatile oil are at least in part responsible for this action. It appears that when given orally, curcumin is far less active than after i.p. administration. This may be due to poor absorption, as discussed. Data on histamine-induced ulcers are controversial, and studies on the secretory activity (HCl, pepsinogen) are still lacking. In vitro, curcumin exhibited antispasmodic activity. Since there was a protective effect of extracts of Curcuma longa on the liver and a stimulation of bile secretion in animals, Curcuma longa has been advocated for use in liver disorders. Evidence for an effect on liver disease in humans is not yet available. From the facts that after oral application only traces of curcumin were found in the blood and that, on the other hand, most of the curcumin is excreted via the faeces it may be concluded that curcumin is absorbed poorly by the gastrointestinal tract and/or underlies presystemic transformation. Systemic effects therefore seem to be questionable after oral application except that they occur at very low concentrations of curcumin. This does not exclude a local action in the gastrointestinal tract.
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              Trends in the development of radioprotective agents.

              People may be exposed to ionizing radiation during radiotherapy or following exposure to radionuclides in nuclear medicine. Radioprotective agents have been used to reduce morbidity or mortality produced by ionizing irradiation. Early developments of such agents focused on thiol synthetic compounds, such as amifostine. This compound reduced mortality; however, there were difficulties in administering aminothiols that led to adverse effects. Hence, the development of radioprotective agents with lower toxicity and an extended window of protection has attracted much attention. Natural compounds have been evaluated as radioprotectants and they seem to exert their effect through antioxidant and immunostimulant activities. Although recent agents have lower efficacy, they have lower toxicity, more favourable administration routes and improved pharmacokinetics compared to the older thiol compounds.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Dove Medical Press
                1177-8881
                2015
                25 September 2015
                : 9
                : 5355-5372
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Research, Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre (ICMR), Bhopal, India
                [2 ]National Institute for Research in Environmental Health (NIREH), Indian Council of Medical Research, Bhopal, India
                [3 ]Department of Zoology, Centre for Advanced Studies, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, India
                [4 ]Research Laboratory for Nuclear Reactors, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Ravindra M Samarth, Department of Research, Bhopal Memorial Hospital & Research Centre (ICMR), Raisen Bypass Road, Bhopal-462038, India, Email rmsamarth@ 123456yahoo.co.in
                Article
                dddt-9-5355
                10.2147/DDDT.S91299
                4590411
                © 2015 Samarth et al. This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License

                The full terms of the License are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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