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Abstract:  Our aim was to evaluate the protective effect of berberine on 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA)-induced chromosomal aberrations and micro-nucleated polychromatic erythrocytes (MnPCEs) frequency in bone marrow cells of golden Syrian hamsters. The anti-clastogenic effect of berberine (50 mg/kg b.w. p.o.) was also assessed by measuring the status of phase II detoxification enzymes and oxidative stress, as biochemical endpoints, during DMBA (30 mg/kg b.w. i.p.) induced clastogenesis. Marked chromosomal aberrations, increased MnPCEs frequency and enhanced status of lipid peroxidation, antioxidants and phase I and II detoxification enzymes were noticed in hamsters treated with DMBA alone. Oral pre-treatment with berberine for 5 days to DMBA-treated hamsters significantly reduced the frequency of MnPCEs and chromosomal abnormalities as well as reversed the status of lipid peroxidation, antioxidants and phase I and II detoxification enzymes. The present study thus suggests that berberine has potent anti-clastogenic potential against DMBA-induced clastogenesis, which is probably due to its anti-lipid peroxidative potential and effect on modulation of phase I and II detoxification cascade.