Aqueous extract of the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) pits was prepared and its antigenotoxic activity was evaluated against N-Nitroso-N-methylurea (NMU) induced mutagenic effect in mice, using chromosome aberration (CA), micronuclei (MN) and DNA fragmentation assays as experimental end points in male mice. Date pits extract (DPE) was given orally to mice at the dose 25 mg/25 g mouse for successive five days in a week up to four consecutive weeks. NMU was used as mutagen and was given intraperitoneal (i.p) injection at single dose 80 mg/kg b.w., 24 hr after last dose of DPE in pre-treatment regimen and 24 hr before the first dose of DPE in the post-treatment regimen. Mice were scarified after one, two and seven days after the end of treatment. The results have shown that pre-and post-treatment regimens of DPE were significantly restored the DNA damage induced by NMU, as revealed by lowering of the occurrence of CAs and MN in bone marrow cells and inhibition of hepatic DNA fragmentation. These findings suggested that DPE produced their inhibitory activity either by desmutagenic or bioantimutagenic manner in pre-and post-treatment regimens respectively.
Keywords: Chromosome aberration assay; DNA fragmentation assay; N-Nitro-N-methylurea; date palm pits; micronucleus assay.