Chemoprotective action of Rasayanas against cyclosphamide toxicity.


Praveenkumar V, Kuttan R, Kuttan G






AIMS AND BACKGROUND: Mylosuppression has been found to be one of the major drawbacks in cancer chemotherapy. Presently the effect of Rasayanas, an indigenous herbal drug preparation having immunomodulatory activity, in reducing myelosuppression and subsequent leukopenia was studied. METHODS: Animals were injected cyclophosphamide (50 mg/kg b.wt. daily for 14 days) with or without Rasayanas (50 mg/animal) and total white blood cells, bone marrow cellularity and survival of the animals were determined. RESULTS: Oral administration of Brahma Rasayana (BR) and Ashwagandha/Rasayana (AR) was found to protect mice from cyclophosphamide induced leukopenia. Total white blood cell counts in BR and AR treated animals on day 12 were 3800 and 3000 cells (mm3 respectively, which was significantly high compared to that of controls (700 cells/mm3). When the treatment was stopped on day 14 the value increased to 27,000 and 26,000 cells/mm3. The bone marrow cellularity were also significantly high in BR and AR treated animals (3.45 x 10(6) and 2.38 x 16 cells femur respectively) compared to that of controls. (0.72 x 10(6) cells/femur). CONCLUSION: The results indicate the usefulness of Rasayanas in chemotherapy induced myelosuppression and leukopenia.