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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 3 (2006), Issue 4, Pages 503-511
Original Article

Podophyllum hexandrum Offers Radioprotection by Modulating Free Radical Flux: Role of Aryl-Tetralin Lignans

1Division of Radiation Biology, Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences, Brigadier SK Mazumdar Marg, Delhi 110054, India
2Defence Research Laboratory (DRDO), Tejpur, Assam, India
3Natural Products Chemistry Division, Regional Research Laboratory (CSIR), Jammu Tawi 180001, India
4Department of Medical Elementology and Toxicology, Jamia Hamdard, Hamdard Nagar, Delhi 110062, India
5Regional Research Laboratory (CSIR), Field Station, Bonera, Srinagar, India

Received 5 February 2006; Accepted 19 May 2006

Copyright © 2006 Raman Chawla 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.


We have evaluated the effect of variation in aryl-tetralin lignans on the radioprotective properties of Podophyllum hexandrum. Two fractionated fractions of P. hexandrum [methanolic (S1) and chloroform fractions (S2)], with varying aryl-tetralin lignan content were utilized for the present study. The peroxyl ion scavenging potentials of S1 and S2 were found to be comparable [i.e. 45.88% (S1) and 41% (S2)] after a 48 h interval in a time-dependent study, whereas in a 2 h study, S2 exhibited significant (P < 0.05) antioxidant activity in different metal ion + flux states. In the aqueous phase, S2 exhibited non-site-specific reactive oxygen species scavenging activity, i.e. 73.12% inhibition at 500 μg ml−1. S1 exhibited 58.40 ± 0.8% inhibition (at 0.025 μg ml−1) of the formation of reactive nitrite radicals, comparable to S2 (52.45 ± 0.825%), and also showed 45.01% site-specific activity (1000 μg ml−1), along with significant (P < 0.05) electron donation potential (50–2000 μg ml−1) compared to S2. Such activities of S1 could be attributed to the significantly (P < 0.05) higher levels of podophyllotoxin β-d-glucopyranoside (16.5 times) and demethyl podophyllotoxin glucoside (2.9 times) compared with S2. Together, these findings clearly prove that aryl-tetralin lignan content influences the radiation protective potential of the Podophyllum fractions to a great extent.