Abstract Title:

Ginseng reduces the micronuclei yield in lymphocytes after irradiation.

Abstract Source:

Mutat Res. 2004 Jan 10;557(1):75-84. PMID: 14706520

Abstract Author(s):

Tung-Kwang Lee, Ron R Allison, Kevin F O'Brien, Prabhaker G Khazanie, Roberta M Johnke, Randy Brown, Richard M Bloch, Matthew L Tate, Larry J Dobbs, Peter J Kragel

Article Affiliation:

Department of Radiation Oncology, Leo W. Jenkins Cancer Center, Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858, USA. [email protected]


To assess the effect of Chinese ginseng in modifying the radiation-induced micronuclei (MN) yield in human G(o) peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL), we conducted the cytokinesis-blocked (CB) MN assay in blood samples obtained from healthy volunteers (n=4). Before (137)Cs ex vivo irradiation, mononuclear cell cultures from each sample were incubated 24 h with different concentrations (0-2000 microg ml(-1)) of crude water extract of ginseng dry root. We found that (1) at 0 Gy and without the presence of ginseng, MN yield (mean+/-S.E.M.) was 11.7+/-2.7 per 1000 binucleated (BN) cells. Different concentrations of ginseng crude water extract did not affect the MN yields and the proliferative activity of PBL; (2) after 1 and 2 Gy exposure, radiation alone sharply increased the MN yields, respectively, to 119.6+/-17.4 and 340.5+/-20.9 per 1000 BN cells. However, treatment with ginseng for 24 h before radiation exposure, resulted in a significant linear decline of MN yields as ginseng concentration increases. Compared to radiation alone, the extent to which ginseng water extract reduced the MN yields induced by 1 Gy exposure was 46.0% at 1500 microg ml(-1) and 61.5% at 2000 microg ml(-1), and with 2 Gy exposure, it was 38.6% at 1500 microg ml(-1) and 46.5% at 2000 microg ml(-1); (3) MN data suggested a tendency for overdispersion relative to the Poisson model; and (4) over the different levels of ginseng concentrations, the trend in micronucleated BN index was as similar as that of the MN yields. These results indicated that (1) ginseng crude water extract exerts no apparent cytogentic effect on human PBL at concentrations up to 2000 microg ml(-1) as evaluated by the CBMN assay; and (2) the protection of ginseng water extract against (137)Cs-induced MN in human PBL is concentration-dependence. Therefore, our findings indicated that ginseng may have therapeutic value as a possible radioprotector for normal tissue during radiotherapy of cancer patients.

Study Type : In Vitro Study

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