In vivo micronucleus assay and GST activity in assessing genotoxicity of plumbagin in Swiss albino mice

V. SivaKumar, R. Prakash, M. R. Murali, H. Devaraj, S. Niranjali Devaraj

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Information available on the mutagenicity of a large number of indigenous drugs commonly employed in the Siddha and Ayurveda systems of medicine is scanty. In this context, the current investigation on plumbagin, 5-hydroxy-2methyl-1,4-napthoquinone, an active principle in the roots of Plumbago zeylanica used in Siddha and Ayurveda for various ailments, was carried out; 16 mg/kg b.w. (LD50) was fixed as the maximum dose. Subsequent dose levels were fixed as 50% and 25% of LD50 amounting to 8 mg and 4 mg/kg b.w., respectively, and given orally for 5 consecutive days in 1% Carboxyl methyl cellulose (CMC) to Swiss albino mice weighing 25-30 g. The micronucleus assay was done in mouse bone marrow. Plumbagin was found to induce micronuclei at all the doses studied (4 mg/kg, 8 mg/kg, 16 mg/kg b.w.), and it proves to be toxic to bone marrow cells of Swiss albino mice. Animal treated with cyclophosphamide (40 mg/kg b.w.) served as positive control. In addition, glutathione S-transferase (GST) activity was observed in control, plumbagin (4 mg, 8 mg, 16 mg/kg b.w., respectively), and genotoxin-treated experimental group of animals. No significant change in GST activity was observed with plumbagin dose of 4 mg/kg b.w., whereas GST activity was significantly inhibited by higher doses of plumbagin (8 mg and 16 mg/ kg b.w.) and cyclophosphamide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)499-507
Number of pages9
JournalDrug and Chemical Toxicology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Genotoxicity
  • Micronucleus test
  • Plumbagin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Chemical Health and Safety


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