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Journal of the Indian Society of Toxicology
Year : 2012, Volume : 8, Issue : 1
First page : ( 1) Last page : ( 14)
Print ISSN : 0973-3558. Online ISSN : 0973-3566.

Genotoxicity of benzene in mammalian cells (Rattus rattus) and its minimization by medicinal plant extracts and Vitamin C

Chauhan Kiran*

State Council for Science, Technology and Environment, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India.

*Email: kiran.cng@gmail.com, sanjaynarang76@gmail.com

Online published on 21 June, 2012.

Abstract

Benzene is an enlisted industrial carcinogen with genotoxic effects. The present work was aimed at studying the genotoxic effects (chromosomal aberrations and mitotic index changes) of benzene on somatic (bone marrow) cells of 10–15 week old albino rats (Rattus rattus). Many medicinal plants and vitamins are known to have antioxidant and anticlastogenic properties. Therefore, vitamin C and crude extracts of fruits of medicinal plants Phyllanthus emblica (Amla) and Allium sativum (garlic) cloves were tested for their comparative effectiveness in minimizing the genotoxicity of benzene.

Genotoxicity of benzene was investigated at doses of 1/ 40, 1/20, 1/10, 1/5 oral LD50. Antioxidants vitamin C (10 mg/kg b.wt) and crude medicinal plant extracts (P. emblica=1000mg/kg b.wt., A. sativum=1000mg/kg b.wt.) were tested for their ability to minimize genotoxic effects of benzene (at 1/10 LD50 dose), at pre, concurrent and post treatment levels. Statistical analysis was done by ‘student t-test’.

Benzene was observed to cause significant increase in number of chromosomal aberrations, percentage of aberrated cells and depression in mitotic-index. P. emblica, A. sativum extracts, and vitamin C significantly reduced all the types of observed abnormalities induced by benzene. They showed best results during pre-treatment. Genotoxicity of benzene was best minimized by A. sativum extract. P. emblica and vitamin C showed more or less similar results.

Thus, the daily intake of A. sativum extract might prove to be beneficial in minimizing and providing protection against benzene genotoxicity.

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Keywords

Benzene, Genotoxicity, Chromosomal aberration, Somatic cell, Antioxidant, Anticlastogen, Vitamin C, Phyllanthus emblica, Amla, Allium sativum, Garlic.

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