Antioxidant properties of Asparagus racemosus against damage induced by gamma-radiation in rat liver mitochondria

J P Kamat, K K Boloor, T P Devasagayam, S R Venkatachalam
Journal of Ethnopharmacology 2000, 71 (3): 425-35
The possible antioxidant effects of crude extract and a purified aqueous fraction of Asparagus racemosus against membrane damage induced by the free radicals generated during gamma-radiation were examined in rat liver mitochondria. gamma-Radiation, in the dose range of 75-900 Gy, induced lipid peroxidation as assessed by the formation of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) and lipid hydroperoxides (LOOH). Using an effective dose of 450 Gy, antioxidant effects of A. racemosus extract were studied against oxidative damage in terms of protection against lipid peroxidation, protein oxidation, depletion of protein thiols and the levels of the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. An active fraction consisting of polysaccharides (termed as P3) was effective even at a low concentration of 10 microg/ml. Both the crude extract as well as the P3 fraction significantly inhibited lipid peroxidation and protein oxidation. The antioxidant effect of P3 fraction was more pronounced against lipid peroxidation, as assessed by TBARS formation, while that of the crude extract was more effective in inhibiting protein oxidation. Both the crude extract and P3 fraction also partly protects against radiation-induced loss of protein thiols and inactivation of superoxide dismutase. The inhibitory effects of these active principles, at the concentration of 10 microg/ml, are comparable to that of the established antioxidants glutathione and ascorbic acid. Hence our results indicate that extracts from A. racemosus have potent antioxidant properties in vitro in mitochondrial membranes of rat liver.

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