Apigenin is a member of the flavone family of flavonoid and possesses anti-inflammatory, free radical scavenging and anti-carcinogenic properties. Hydrogen peroxide, which is generated during oxidative stress, is known to damage proteins, nucleic acids and cell membranes and also has been implicated in cancer, ageing and several chronic neurogenerative diseases. The present study focuses on the protective effect of apigenin against genotoxic doses of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) using sister chromatid exchanges (SCEs) and cytokinesis blocked micronucleus (CBMN) assay. The treatment with 50, 100 and 150 microM of H2O2 results in a significant dose dependent increase in the frequency of SCEs and MN. The treatment with 100 microM of H2O2 along with 5, 10 and 20 microM of apigenin results in a dose dependent significant decrease in the frequency of SCEs and MN on cultured human lymphocytes. A similar result was obtained with treatment with 150 microM of H2O2 along with 5, 10 and 20 microM of apigenin. The results of the present study suggest a protective effect of apigenin against hydrogen peroxide induced genotoxic damage on cultured human lymphocytes.
apigenin; hydrogen peroxide; sister chromatid exchanges; micronucleus; human lymphocytes
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