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Research Paper Open Access
The current study was undertaken to study the effect of a macerated extract of Nigella sativa seeds in normal as well as in tumour bearing mice against gamma radiation-induced cellular damage to normal tissues. This was done to mimic the clinical setting where in, normal tissues of cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy are exposed to the deleterious effects of radiation. The protection of cellular DNA was analysed in peripheral blood leucocytes of whole body irradiated mice following pretreatment with macerated extract of Nigella sativa seeds (100 mg/kg), using alkaline comet assay, and also estimating biochemical and blood parameters such as levels of antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase and catalase, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances and protein oxidation in organs such as spleen, liver, brain and intestine haemoglobin and total leucocyte count, respectively. The results showed that the macerated extract of Nigella sativa seeds protected the liver, spleen, brain and intestines both in normal as well as tumour bearing mice. This study concludes that macerated extract of Nigella sativa seeds has protective effects against radiation-induced damage and biochemical alterations which could be attributed to the ability to scavenge free radicals and its antioxidant properties. Hence macerated extract of Nigella sativa seeds, could be used in combination with radiation to protect against oxidative stress in normal tissues and improving the quality of life of cancer patients by mitigating unwanted side effects of radiation in normal tissues.
Antioxidants, fibrosarcoma, macerated extract of Nigella sativa, radioprotection