Borneol administration protects primary rat hepatocytes against exogenous oxidative DNA damage.

PMID 22544524


Experimental evidences suggest that most essential oils possess a wide range of biological and pharmacological activities that may protect tissues against oxidative damage. In this study, we investigated DNA-protective effect of borneol, a component of many essential oils, against oxidative DNA damage induced in primary cultures of rat hepatocytes. Borneol was added to drinking water of Sprague-Dawley rats and DNA resistance against oxidative agents was compared in hepatocytes originated from control and borneol-treated rats. Oxidative stress induced by visible light-excited methylene blue (MB/VL) or 2,3-dimethoxy-1,4-naphthoquionone (DMNQ) resulted in increased levels of DNA lesions measured by the modified single cell gel electrophoresis. Borneol (17 or 34 mg/kg body weight) added to drinking water of rats for 7 days reduced the level of oxidative DNA lesions induced in their hepatocytes by MB/VL or DMNQ. To explain the increased resistance of DNA towards oxidative stress, we measured the base-excision repair (BER) capacity in liver cell extracts of control and borneol-supplemented rats on DNA substrate of HepG2 cells containing oxidative damage. Our results showed that administration of borneol in drinking water had no effect on incision activity of hepatocytes isolated from supplemented rats. The spectrophotometric assessment of enzymatic antioxidants superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activities and the flow cytometric assessment of total intracellular glutathione (iGSH) in primary hepatocytes of borneol-supplemented rats showed no changes in SOD and GPx activities but higher iGSH content particularly in hepatocytes of higher borneol dose (34 mg/kg) supplemented rats in comparison to control animals. Despite the fact that borneol had no effect either on BER of oxidative DNA damage or on the levels of antioxidant enzymes and manifested no reducing power and radicals scavenging activity, it increased significantly the level of non-enzymatic antioxidant iGSH which could reduce the oxidative DNA lesions induced by MB/VL or DMNQ.