Radioprotective effects of Nigella sativa oil against oxidative stress in liver tissue of rats exposed to total head irradiation

J Invest Surg. 2014 Oct;27(5):262-6. doi: 10.3109/08941939.2014.898811. Epub 2014 Mar 28.


Objective: Many cancer patients treated with radiotherapy suffer severe side effects during and after their treatment. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of irradiation and the addition of Nigella sativa oil (NSO) on the oxidant/antioxidant system in the liver tissue of irradiated rats.

Methods: A total of 24 Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly distributed into three groups of equal numbers. The control group received neither NSO nor irradiation but received 1-ml saline orally. The irradiation group (IR) received total head 5 gray (Gy) of gamma irradiation as a single dose, plus 1-ml saline orally. The IR plus NSO group received both total head 5 Gy of gamma irradiation as a single dose and 1 g/kg/day NSO orally through an orogastric tube starting one hour before irradiation and continuing for 10 days.

Results: While liver tissue total oxidant status (TOS), lipid hydroperoxide (LOOH) level, and oxidative stress index (OSI) were significantly increased in the IR group compared to the control group, total antioxidant status (TAS), sulfhydryl (-SH) levels, and PON activity were significantly decreased. Cp activity in the IR plus NSO and IR groups was higher than in the control group. ARYL activity in the IR plus NSO supplemented group was higher than that in other groups.

Conclusions: NSO reduces oxidative stress markers and has antioxidant effects, which also augments the antioxidant capacity in the liver tissue of rats.

Keywords: free radicals; irradiation; nigella sativa oil; oxidative stress index; total antioxidant status; total oxidant status.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Aryldialkylphosphatase / metabolism
  • Carboxylic Ester Hydrolases / metabolism
  • Ceruloplasmin / metabolism
  • Gamma Rays / adverse effects
  • Head / radiation effects
  • Lipid Peroxides / metabolism
  • Liver / drug effects*
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Liver / radiation effects*
  • Oxidants / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Oxidative Stress / radiation effects*
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology*
  • Radiation-Protective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Lipid Peroxides
  • Oxidants
  • Plant Oils
  • Radiation-Protective Agents
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds
  • caraway oil
  • Ceruloplasmin
  • Carboxylic Ester Hydrolases
  • arylesterase
  • Aryldialkylphosphatase