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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 4 (2007), Issue 3, Pages 343-350
Original Article

Protective Effect of Adhatoda vascia Nees against Radiation-Induced Damage at Cellular, Biochemical and Chromosomal Levels in Swiss Albino Mice

1Laboratory of Radiation and Cancer Biology, Department of Zoology, University of Rajasthan Jaipur 302004, India
2Hoag Comprehensive Cancer Center, Newport Beach CA 92663, USA
3Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Cytogenetics Laboratory, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA

Received 8 May 2006; Accepted 30 October 2006

Copyright © 2007 Meenal Kumar et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Extract of Adhatoda vasica (L) Nees leaves has been used for treatment of various diseases and disorders in Ayurved and Unani medicine. Modulatory effect of ethanolic extract of A. vasica (L) Nees against radiation-induced changes in terms of histological alterations in testis, reduced glutathione (GSH), lipid peroxidation (LPO), acid and alkaline phosphatases levels, and chromosomal alterations in Swiss albino mice was studied at various post-irradiation intervals between 1 and 30 days. Mice exposed to 8 Gy radiation showed radiation-induced sickness including marked changes in histology of testis and chromosomal aberrations in bone marrow cells with 100% mortality within 22 days. When ethanolic leaf extract of A. vasica was given orally at a dose of 800 mg kg−1 body weight per mouse for 15 consecutive days and then exposed to radiation, death of Adhatoda-pretreated irradiated mice was reduced to 70% at 30 days. The radiation dose reduction factor was 1.43. There was significantly lesser degree of damage to testis tissue architecture and various cell populations including spermatogonia, spermatids and Leydig cells. Correspondingly, a significant decrease in the LPO and an increase in the GSH levels were observed in testis and liver of Adhatoda-pretreated irradiated mice. Similarly, a significant decrease in level of acid phosphatase and increase in level of alkaline phosphatase were observed. Adhatoda pretreatment significantly prevented radiation-induced chromosomal damage in bone marrow cells. The study suggests that Adhatoda plant extract has significant radioprotective effects on testis that warrants further mechanistic studies aimed at identifying the role of major ingredients in the extract.