A Potentized Homeopathic Drug, Arsenicum Album 200, Can Ameliorate

 

Department of Zoology, University of Kalyani, Kalyani, India

A Potentized Homeopathic Drug, Arsenicum Album 200, Can Ameliorate

Genotoxicity Induced by Repeated Injections of Arsenic Trioxide in Mice

P. Banerjee1, S. J. Biswas1, P. Belon2 and A. R. Khuda-Bukhsh1,3

Addresses of authors: 1Department of Zoology, University of Kalyani, Kalyani 741235, India; 2Boiron Lab, 69110 Sainte-Foy-

Les-Lyon, France; 3Corresponding author: Tel.:+91 33 2582 8750 x 315 (O)/2582 8768 (R); fax: +91 33 2582 8282; E-mail:

prof_arkb@yahoo.co.in; khudabukhsh_48@rediffmail.com

With 6 figures and 1 table Received for publication October 22, 2006

Summary

Groundwater arsenic contamination has become a menacing

global problem. No drug is available until now to combat

chronic arsenic poisoning. To examine if a potentized homeopathic

remedy, Arsenicum Album-200, can effectively

combat chronic arsenic toxicity induced by repeated injections

of Arsenic trioxide in mice, the following experimental

design was adopted. Mice (Mus musculus) were injected

subcutaneously with 0.016% arsenic trioxide at the rate of

1 ml/100 g body weight, at an interval of 7 days until they

were killed at day 30, 60, 90 or 120 and were divided into

three groups: (i) one receiving a daily dose of Arsenicum

Album-200 through oral administration, (ii) one receiving the

same dose of diluted succussed alcohol (Alcohol-200) and (iii)

another receiving neither drug, nor succussed alcohol. The

remedy or the placebo, as the case may be, was fed from the

next day onwards after injection until the day before the next

injection, and the cycle was repeated until the mice were

killed. Two other control groups were also maintained: one

receiving only normal diet, and the other receiving normal

diet and succussed alcohol. Several toxicity assays, such as

cytogenetical (chromosome aberrations, micronuclei, mitotic

index, sperm head anomaly) and biochemical (acid and

alkaline phosphatases, lipid peroxidation), were periodically

made. Compared with controls, the drug fed mice showed

reduced toxicity at statistically significant levels in respect of

all the parameters studied, thereby indicating protective

potentials of the homeopathic drug against chronic arsenic

poisoning.

Introduction

Arsenic compounds are perceived as weak mutagens in

bacterial and animal cells. However they are reported to

produce clastogenic and aneugenic effects and induce gene

amplification, cellular transformation, DNA cross-links and

DNA strand breaks in animal cells (Basu et al., 2001). Liver

injury induced by chemicals and its recovery processes have

been extensively studied to understand many cytotoxicological

problems (Zimmerman, 1978; Plaa et al., 1991). Many toxic

chemicals, including arsenic trioxide, have earlier been reported

to cause degenerative changes in the liver. In case of acute

exposure, hepatocellular necrosis or hepatobilliary dysfunction

results, often followed by lipid accumulation (Plaa et al.,

1991). Lipid peroxidation along with elevated liver triglycerides

has been reported to occur after administration of tetrachloroethanol,

chloroform and carbon tetra chloride (Tomokuni,

1970). Moreover associated with the toxicity level of liver

tissue are the activities of some enzymes like acid and alkaline

phosphatases.

In a series of our earlier studies (Mitra et al., 1998, 1999;

Datta et al., 1999; Kundu et al., 2000a,b; Mallick et al., 2003),

various effects in regard to cytogenetical and biochemical

changes induced by a single ip dose of 0.004% Arsenic trioxide

at the rate of 1 ml/100 g of body weight had been studied in

mice and it was revealed that a potentized homeopathic

remedy, Arsenicum Album 30, derived from arsenic trioxide

by homeopathic procedure of succussion and dilution, could

effectively combat arsenic trioxide induced toxicity in mice. In

the present investigation, we intended to examine if a higher

potency, which in homeopathic doctrine, should be expected to

have stronger efficacy, was able to combat chronic arsenic

toxicity induced by repeated injections of 0.016% arsenic

trioxide at an interval of 7 days in mice before being killed at

day 30, 60, 90 and day 120 for conducting various cytogenetical

and toxicity marker assays.

 

 

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