Antimutagenicity of ursolic acid and oleanolic acid against doxorubicin-induced clastogenesis in Balb/c mice

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Ursolic acid (UA) and oleanolic acid (OA) are triterpenoid compounds found in food, medicinal herbs and various other plants in free form or bound to glycosides. Both substances are known for their antimicrobial, hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory, antiallergic, antiviral and cytotoxic activities. In the present study, we evaluated the antimutagenic potential of UA and OA using the micronucleus test in peripheral blood and bone marrow of Balb/c mice. The animals were divided into 10 treatment groups: mice treated with UA (80 mg/kg b.w.); OA (80 mg/kg b.w.); a mixture of UA and OA (80 mg/kg b.w.); the antineoplastic agent doxorubicin (DXR, 90 mg/kg b.w.); DMSO and DXR; UA and DXR; OA and DXR; UA, OA and DXR, and negative and solvent controls. UA, OA and a mixture of UA and OA were administered to the animals by gavage, followed by the intraperitoneal injection of DXR. The results showed a significant reduction in micronucleus frequency in the groups concomitantly treated with the triterpenoid compounds and DXR compared to that treated with DXR alone. The present results demonstrate the antimutagenic activity of UA and OA under the experimental conditions used in this study.

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