Reduction of Gamma Radiation-Induced Damage by Hydro-Alcoholic Extract of Nardostachys jatamansi

J Environ Pathol Toxicol Oncol. 2019;38(1):83-96. doi: 10.1615/JEnvironPatholToxicolOncol.2019015395.


The search for a nontoxic radioprotector has not yielded any promising results. Many antioxidant compounds, though effective under in vitro conditions as radioprotectors, have failed under in vivo settings due to their toxicity. The Indian medical system of Ayurveda uses a variety of plants with antioxidant potential, and these may be harboring molecules with radioprotective properties. In the present work, the radioprotective property of Nardostachys jatamansi was investigated. A hydro-alcoholic extract of this plant provided protection to the cellular DNA and membrane from 4 Gy gamma radiation. Depletion of cellular antioxidant status was also prevented by this extract. Molecular-level analysis in the intestines of mice revealed a lower bax/bcl2 ratio suggestive of a reduction of radiation-induced apoptosis. Expression levels of the DNA repair gene atm were elevated, along with a reduction in the expression of the inflammatory gene cox2. The extract also provided a survival advantage to mice exposed to lethal doses of gamma radiation. These results suggest a possible radioprotective role for Nardostachys jatamansi.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / isolation & purification
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • DNA Damage
  • DNA Repair
  • Gamma Rays*
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Mice
  • Micronucleus Tests
  • Nardostachys / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Radiation Injuries, Experimental / prevention & control*
  • Radiation-Protective Agents / isolation & purification
  • Radiation-Protective Agents / pharmacology
  • Radiation-Protective Agents / therapeutic use*


  • Antioxidants
  • Plant Extracts
  • Radiation-Protective Agents