Department of Biochemistry, Amala Cancer Research Centre, Thrissur, India
Radioprotective effects of ginger essential oil (GEO) on mortality, body weight alteration, hematological parameters, antioxidant status and chromosomal damage were studied in irradiated mice. Regression analysis of survival data in mice exposed to radiation yielded LD50/30 as 7.12 and 10.14 Gy for control (irradiation alone) and experimental (GEO-treated irradiated) mice, respectively, with a dose reduction factor (DRF) of 1.42. In mice exposed to whole-body gamma-irradiation (6 Gy), GEO pre-treatment at 100 and 500 mg/kg b.wt (orally) significantly ameliorated decreased hematological and immunological parameters. Radiation induced reduction in intestinal tissue antioxidant enzyme levels such as superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase and glutathione was also reversed following administration of GEO. Tissue architecture of small intestine which was damaged following irradiation was improved upon administration of GEO. Anticlastogenic effects of GEO were studied by micronuclei assay, chromosomal aberration and alkaline gel electrophoresis assay. GEO significantly decreased the formation of micronuclei, increased the P/N ratio, inhibited the formation of chromosomal aberrations and protected agaisnt cellular DNA damage in bone marrow cells as revealed by comet assay. These results are supportive of use of GEO as a potential radioprotective compound.