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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 3 (2010), Issue 1, Pages 44-52

Modulation of Ionizing Radiation Induced Oxidative Imbalance by Semi-Fractionated Extract of Piper betle: An In Vitro and In Vivo Assessment

1Division of Radiation Biosciences, Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences, Brig. S.K Mazumdar Marg, Delhi, India
2Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Defence Research and Development Establishment, Gwalior, India

Received 22 September 2009; Revised 8 October 2009; Accepted 19 October 2009

Copyright © 2010 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.


The study was planned to evaluate modulatory effect of aqueous extract of Piper betle leaf (PBL) on ionizing radiation mediated oxidative stress leading to normal tissues damage during radiotherapy and other radiation exposures. The total polyphenols and flavonoids known as free radical scavenger (chelators) were measured in the extract. To ascertain antioxidant potential of PBL extract, we studied free radical scavenging, metal chelation, reducing power, lipid peroxidation inhibition and ferric reducing antioxidant properties (FRAP ) using in vitro assays. Mice were exposed to varied radiation doses administered with the same extract prior to irradiation to confirm its oxidative stress minimizing efficacy by evaluating ferric reducing ability of plasma, reduced glutathione, lipid peroxidation and micro-nuclei frequency. PBL extract was effective in scavenging DPPH (up to 92% at 100 µg/ml) and superoxide radicals (up to 95% at 80 µg/ml), chelated metal ions (up to 83% at 50 µg/ml) and inhibited lipid peroxidation (up to 45.65% at 500 µg/ml) in a dose dependant manner using in vitro model. Oral administration of PBL extract (225 mg/kg body weight) 1 hr before irradiation in mice significantly enhanced (p < 0.01) radiation abated antioxidant potential of plasma and GSH level in all the observed organs. The treatment with extract effectively lowered the radiation induced lipid peroxidation at 24 hrs in all the selected organs with maximum inhibition in thymus (p < 0.01). After 48 hrs, lipid peroxidation was maximally inhibited in the group treated with the extract. Frequency of radiation induced micronucleated cells declined significantly (34.78%, p < 0.01) at 24 hrs post-irradiation interval by PBL extract administration. The results suggest that PBL extract has high antioxidant potential and relatively non-toxic and thus could be assertively used to mitigate radiotherapy inflicted normal tissues damage and also injuries caused by moderate doses of radiation during unplanned exposures.