Objectives: The in vivo radio-protective effect of total triterpenes isolated from Ganoderma lucidum (Fr.) P. Karst was evaluated using Swiss albino mice, by pre-treatment with total triterpenes for 14 days, followed by a whole body exposure to γ-radiation.
Methods: The activities of the antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and the level of reduced glutathione (GSH) were analysed in liver and brain homogenates. The extent of lipid and protein peroxidation was also estimated in liver and brain homogenates after irradiation. Protection of radiation-induced DNA strand breaks in peripheral blood lymphocytes and bone marrow cells was assessed using the comet assay.
Results: Total triterpenes were highly effective in reducing the levels of lipid peroxidation and protein oxidation to near normal values in both liver and brain tissues. Total triterpenes, when administered in vivo, were also found to be successful in restoring the antioxidant enzyme activities and GSH level in liver and brain of irradiated mice. Administration of total triterpenes, prior to radiation exposure, significantly decreased the DNA strand breaks.
Discussion: The results of the present study thus revealed the potential therapeutic use of Ganoderma total triterpenes as an adjuvant in radiation therapy.
Keywords: Comet assay; DNA damage; Protein peroxidation; Radioprotection.