Protective effects of lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus STAPF) essential oil on DNA damage and carcinogenesis in female Balb/C mice

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This study investigated the protective effect of oral treatment with lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus STAPF) essential oil (LGEO) on leukocyte DNA damage induced by N-methyl-N-nitrosurea (MNU). Also, the anticarcinogenic activity of LGEO was investigated in a multi-organ carcinogenesis bioassay induced by 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)antracene, 1,2-dimethylhydrazine and N-butyl-N-(4-hydroxibuthyl)nitrosamine in Balb/C female Balb/c mice (DDB-initiated mice). In the short-term study, the animals were allocated into three groups: vehicle group (negative control), MNU group (positive control) and LGEO 500 mg kg(-1) (five times per week for 5 weeks) plus MNU group (test group). Blood samples were collected to analyze leukocyte DNA damage by comet assay 4 h after each MNU application at the end of weeks 3 and 5. The LGEO 500 mg kg(-1) treated group showed significantly lower (P < 0.01) leukocyte DNA damage than its respective positive group exposed to MNU alone at week 3. In the medium-term study, DDB-initiated mice were allocated into three groups: vehicle group (positive control) and LGEO 125 or 500 mg kg(-1) (five times per week for 6 weeks; test groups). At week 20, all animals were euthanized and mammary glands, colon and urinary bladder were processed for histopathological analyses for detection of preneoplastic and neoplastic lesions. A slight non-significant effect of treatment with LGEO 500 mg kg(-1) in reducing development of alveolar and ductal mammary hyperplasia was found (P = 0.075). Our findings indicate that lemongrass essential oil provided protective action against MNU-induced DNA damage and a potential anticarcinogenic activity against mammary carcinogenesis in DDB-initiated female Balb/C mice. Copyright (C) 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.




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Journal of Applied Toxicology. Hoboken: Wiley-blackwell, v. 31, n. 6, p. 536-544, 2011.

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