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Genetics and Molecular Biology

Print version ISSN 1415-4757On-line version ISSN 1678-4685


ARAUJO, Maria Cristina P.; DIAS, Francisca da Luz; KRONKA, Sergio N.  and  TAKAHASHI, Catarina S.. Effects of turmeric and its active principle, curcumin, on bleomycin-induced chromosome aberrations in Chinese hamster ovary cells. Genet. Mol. Biol. [online]. 1999, vol.22, n.3, pp.407-413. ISSN 1415-4757.

Naturally occurring antioxidants have been extensively studied for their capacity to protect organisms and cells from oxidative damage. Many plant constituents including turmeric and curcumin appear to be potent antimutagens and antioxidants. The effects of turmeric and curcumin on chromosomal aberration frequencies induced by the radiomimetic agent bleomycin (BLM) were investigated in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. Three concentrations of each drug, turmeric (100, 250 and 500 mg/ml) and curcumin (2.5, 5 and 10 mg/ml), were combined with BLM (10 mg/ml) in CHO cells treated during the G1/S, S or G2/S phases of the cell cycle. Neither turmeric nor curcumin prevented BLM-induced chromosomal damage in any phases of the cell cycle. Conversely, a potentiation of the clastogenicity of BLM by curcumin was clearly observed in cells treated during the S and G2/S phases. Curcumin was also clastogenic by itself at 10 µg/ml in two protocols used. However, the exact mechanism by which curcumin produced clastogenic and potentiating effects remains unknown.

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