Document Type: Research Articles
Faculty of Pharmacy, Payap University, Chiang Mai 50000, Thailand.
Laboratory of Pharmacology, Chulabhorn Research Institute, Bangkok 10210, Thailand.
Center of Excellence on Environmental Health and Toxicology, Ministry of Education, Bangkok 10210, Thailand.
Departments of Biological Engineering and Chemistry, and Center for Environmental Health Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.
Paraquat (1,1’-dimethyl, 4,4’-bipyridinium dichloride; PQ), a commonly used herbicide worldwide, is both toxic and mutagenic. The mutagenic effect of PQ stems from its ability to redox-cycle, generating oxidative stress and subsequently oxidative DNA damage, which miscodes when replication is attempted. Andrographolide (AP1), the major constituent in the leaves of the herbaceous plant Andrographis paniculata, is a diterpenoid with reported antioxidant activity. The present study employed the mammalian cell line AS52 to investigate the protective effect of AP1 against PQ-induced mutagenesis. AP1 induced cytotoxicity in AS52 cells in a dose-dependent manner (IC50 = 15.7 µM), which allowed the selection of a non-lethal dose for the mutagenesis studies. While PQ was mutagenic in AS52 cells as evidenced by the increased levels of 6-TGr mutants, AP1 by itself did not increase the mutation frequency. However, co-treatment with AP1 (1-5 µM) or the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (2 mM) almost completely counteracted the mutagenicity of PQ (10-100 µM) in AS52 cells. Taken together, these findings suggest that AP1, and likely by extension, A. paniculata extracts, are effective antioxidants that can protect against PQ-induced mutations, and thus could be a promising alternative treatment for PQ poisoning.