Evaluation of radioprotective effects of propolis and its flavonoid constituents: in vitro study on human white blood cells



This in vitro study aimed to evaluate the possible radioprotective effects of the natural substances WSDP, caffeic acid, chrysin and naringin on γ-irradiated human white blood cells. The effectiveness of tested compounds was evaluated using the alkaline comet assay, the analysis of structural chromosome aberration and the cytokinesis-block micronucleus assay. The results obtained by the alkaline comet study indicate favourable toxicity profiles of propolis and its polyphenolic components, and confirmed the radioprotective abilities comparable to the chemical radioprotector AET. WSDP and its polyphenolic components were able to reduce the number of necrotic cells. None of tested compounds induced significant genotoxicity, but all of them offered a quite measurable protection against DNA damage. WSDP was found to be the most effective in diminishing the levels of primary and more complex cytogenetic DNA damage in white blood cells. Considering its complex composition, to undoubtedly explain the underlying mechanisms of cyto/radioprotective effects, further studies are needed. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.