Author(s): Gupta R, Dubey DK, Kannan GM, Flora SJ
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Abstract Contamination of ground water by arsenic has become a cause of global public health concern. In West Bengal, India, almost 6 million people are endemically exposed to inorganic arsenic by drinking heavily contaminated groundwater through hand-pumped tube wells. No safe, effective and specific preventive or therapeutic measures for treating arsenic poisoning are available. We recently reported that some of the herbal extracts possess properties effective in reducing arsenic concentration and in restoring some of the toxic effects of arsenic in animal models. Moringa oleifera Lamarack (English: Horseradish-tree, Drumstick-tree, Hindi: Saijan, Sanskrit: Shigru) belongs to the Moringaceae family, is generally known in the developing world as a vegetable, a medicinal plant and a source of vegetable oil. The objective of the present study was to determine whether Moringa oleifera (M. oleifera) seed powder could restore arsenic induced oxidative stress and reduce body arsenic burden. Exposure to arsenic (2.5 mg/kg, intraperitoneally for 6weeks) led to a significant increase in the levels of tissue reactive oxygen species (ROS), metallothionein (MT) and thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBARS) which were accompanied by a decrease in the activities in the antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) in mice. Arsenic exposed mice also exhibited liver injury as reflected by reduced acid phosphatase (ACP), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) activities and altered heme synthesis pathway as shown by inhibited blood delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (delta-ALAD) activity. Co-administration of M. oleifera seed powder (250 and 500 mg/kg, orally) with arsenic significantly increased the activities of SOD, catalase, GPx with elevation in reduced GSH level in tissues (liver, kidney and brain). These changes were accompanied by approximately 57\%, 64\% and 17\% decrease in blood ROS, liver metallothionein (MT) and lipid peroxidation respectively in animal co-administered with M. oleifera and arsenic. Another interesting observation has been the reduced uptake of arsenic in soft tissues (55\% in blood, 65\% in liver, 54\% in kidneys and 34\% in brain) following administration of M. oleifera seed powder (particularly at the dose of 500 mg/kg). It can thus be concluded from the present study that concomitant administration of M. oleifera seed powder with arsenic could significantly protect animals from oxidative stress and in reducing tissue arsenic concentration. Administration of M. oleifera seed powder thus could also be beneficial during chelation therapy with a thiol chelator.
This article was published in Cell Biol Int
and referenced in Medicinal & Aromatic Plants