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Protective effect of Withaferin-A on micronucleus frequency and detoxication agents during experimental oral carcinogenesis

K Panjamurthy
S Manoharan
S Balakrishnan
K Suresh
M Nirmal
N Senthil
L Alias


Our aim was to investigate the effect of Withaferin-A on bone marrow micronucleus frequency andbuccal mucosa detoxication agents during 7, 12–dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA) induced hamster buccal pouch carcinogenesis. Oral squamous cell carcinoma was developed in hamsters’ buccal pouches by painting 0.5% DMBA in liquid paraffin, three times per week for 14 weeks. We observed 100% tumor formation in DMBA painted hamsters. Elevated frequency of bone marrow micronucleated polychromatic erythrocytes (MnPCEs) and decrease in buccal mucosa phase II detoxication agents were noticed in tumor bearing hamsters. Oral administration of Withaferin-A significantly reduced the micronucleus frequency and brought back the status of phase II detoxication agents in DMBA painted hamsters. Our study thus demonstrated the protective effect of Withaferin-A on DMBA-induced micronucleus frequency in the bone marrow of golden Syrian hamsters. Also, Withaferin-A maintained the status of buccal mucosa detoxication agents during DMBA-induced hamster buccal pouch carcinogenesis.

Key words: Withaferin-A, DMBA, Oral cancer, Micronucleus, Detoxication