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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 99-102

Phytocomponents of argyreia speciosa (Linn. f.) confer radioprotection

1 Division of Life Sciences, Nehru Gram Bharti University, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Institute of Transgene Life Sciences, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
3 Foundation for Education and Research, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Date of Web Publication1-Feb-2017

Correspondence Address:
Kaushala P Mishra
Foundation for Education and Research, Mumbai, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jrcr.jrcr_11_17

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Argyreia speciosa (Linn. f.) is a reputed indigenous medicinal plant which possesses various pharmacological properties. The alcoholic root extracts of A. speciosa contains several bioactive compounds including flavonoids (quercetin and kaempferol), coumarins (scopoletin), alkaloid (ergoline), saponins, tannins that have potent free radical scavenging activity and role in cell function modulation in disease conditions. The present review is an attempt to provide an insight of anticancer properties of A. speciosa. It is suggested that extract may have the potential to act as an effective radioprotector to normal cells in cancer radiotherapy.

Keywords: Argyreia speciosa, cancer therapy, flavonoids, radioprotector

How to cite this article:
Singh A, Dayal R, Ojha RP, Mishra KP. Phytocomponents of argyreia speciosa (Linn. f.) confer radioprotection. J Radiat Cancer Res 2016;7:99-102

How to cite this URL:
Singh A, Dayal R, Ojha RP, Mishra KP. Phytocomponents of argyreia speciosa (Linn. f.) confer radioprotection. J Radiat Cancer Res [serial online] 2016 [cited 2020 Aug 15];7:99-102. Available from: http://www.journalrcr.org/text.asp?2016/7/4/99/199306

  Introduction Top

Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally.[1] Cancer treatment strategies usually consist of various combinations of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery; despite these therapeutic interventions, cancer mortality rate remains unaltered. The failure of conventional chemotherapy of advanced invasive disease to effect major reduction in the mortality rate indicates the need of new approaches to control cancer. Natural products derived from plants have received increasing attention as potential cancer chemopreventive and radioprotective agents over few decades.[2],[3],[4],[5] On the basis of epidemiological and animal studies, it has been reported that diets rich in fruits and vegetables are associated with a reduced rate of cancer mortality.[5],[6],[7] Dietary phytochemicals consist of a wide variety of biologically active compounds which are known to exert their anticancer activity. Moreover, natural products rich in polyphenols, such as green tea and red wine, have been shown to have strong chemopreventive and radioprotective properties in cancer cell.[2],[5] Radiotherapy is an important cancer treatment modality. Radiation induces cell death in malignant tissues. Although radiotherapy is a widely accepted treatment modality; yet, it suffers from severe side effects inflicted on human health. Furthermore, it is evident that different types of ionizing radiation (X-rays, gamma rays, electron, and alpha rays) used in radiotherapy exerts adverse effect on DNA and cellular homeostasis through redox imbalance.[4] Ionizing radiation is known to induce oxidative stress and cytotoxicity in cell through generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as superoxide, and reactive nitrogen species such as nitric oxide free radicals react to produce reactive peroxynitrite.[4],[8],[9] Similarly, ROS also exacerbates antioxidant defence mechanisms by reducing the endogenous antioxidant enzyme levels particularly, glutathione, superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and glutathione peroxidase (GPX) activity due to degradation of H2O2 and other peroxides.[4],[8],[9] Such harmful effects of free radicals are attenuated by the endogenous antioxidants culminating to restoration of the redox balance, which is of utmost importance.

Conventionally, several synthetic radioprotectors are used to reduce the cytotoxicity of radiotherapy by protecting normal cells.[4],[10] However, synthetic radioprotectors are not reliable due to short half-life, high dose, and cytotoxicity. Taken together, it is of immense use to develop herbal radioprotectors which would be reliable and safe in long-term use by inducing cytotoxicity in irradiated tumor cells, simultaneously protecting normal cells. Pertinent to it, natural bioactive compounds such as flavonoids, polyphenols, and alkaloids possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory properties and therefore can be used as radioprotectants of herbal origin. Cumulative research findings suggested that flavonoids may act as potent anticancer agent by modulating the ROS level. Similarly, reports are available which suggest that quercetin, kaempferol, coumarin, and β-sitosterols are potent radioprotectors.[11],[12],[13],[14],[15],[16] A systematic discussion on various aspects of radioprotective mechanism of these antioxidants on different cell models and diseases is provided underneath.

Argyreia speciosa (Linn. f.) belongs to family convolvulaceae and commonly known as Samudrashok (Hindi), Vridhadaraka (Sanskrit), and elephant creeper (English). It is found throughout India, up to an altitude of 500 m.[17] Several studies have reported that the active phytoconstituents of root extract of A. speciosa possess anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, and neurotropic activity and can be used as aphrodisiac, rejuvenating, intellect promoting, and brain tonic.[18],[19] The radiation induces cytotoxic effects during radiotherapy, which can be reduced using certain bioactive compound (radiosensitizers or radioprotectors), that can develop the narrow therapeutic margin of radiation therapy, and enhance the therapeutic outcome. The present review is an attempt to discuss the radioprotective and anticancerous properties of phytoconstituents present in A. speciosa.

  Phytoconstituents of Argyreia Speciosa and Its Pharmacological Activities Top

The standardized root extracts of A. speciosa contains several bioactive compounds including quercetin, kaempferol, coumarin, β-sitosterols, steroids, flavonoids and tannins that exhibit various pharmacological activities.[20],[21],[22],[23],[24] The hydroalcoholic leaf extract commonly used in the treatment of gonorrhea, chronic ulcers, and skin diseases.[25] Gokhale et al. reported that alcoholic root extract stimulated cellular and humoral immunity through enhanced responsiveness of macrophages, T and B-lymphocytes, involved in antibody synthesis.[26] Recently, Habbu et al. (2010) have reported that the major bioactive compounds particularly quercetin, kaempferol isolated from the root extract of A. speciosa have capacity to tolerate the nonspecific stress in experimental animal, partly due to antioxidants and free radical scavenging activity.[22] A recent finding suggests that the hydroalcoholic root extract of the plant possesses good antistressor, adaptogens, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, nootropic, hepatoprotective activity, antibacterial, and antipyretic activity.[22], 23, [26],[27],[28],[29],[30]

  Mechanism of Action of Phytoconstituents as Radioprotector Top

The phytochemical analysis of A. speciosa s howed quercetin, coumarin, kaempferol, and β-sitosterol as major bioactive compounds present in hydroalcoholic root extract of the plant. Studies have demonstrated that these bioactive compounds possess strong antioxidant, free radical scavenging, anti-inflammatory activities, and also inhibited lipid per oxidation.[14],[31] Obviously, these flavonoids have enormous potential to act as radioprotector. Recently, Toshiya et al. have reported that naturally derived flavonoids modulate the production of antiapoptotic protein, ROS, and attenuate the expression of various signaling pathways.[32]

The studies from various research groups, reported that administration of quercetin followed by irradiation attenuated SOD, glutathione S-transferase and CAT and GPX levels in diseased condition.[16],[33],[34] It is evident that endogenous enzymes displays compensatory mechanism in diseased condition [8] and thereby has been concerned as an essential defence against the potential toxicity of oxidative species. Recently, Patil et al. reported that pretreatment with quercetin significantly lowered the radiation-induced lipid peroxidation in a dose-dependent manner.[16] Studies conducted by Calamia have demonstrated that quercetin administration, inhibited tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α production, and gene expression culminating into induction of anti-inflammatory cytokines through restrained activation of NF-κβ.[35] Recent studies have shown that quercetin initiates apoptosis through inhibition of angiogenesis.[36] In addition, overexpression of SOD and downregulation of bcl-2 was observed by inhibiting PI3K/Akt/IKK-α/NF-κB signaling pathway in cancer cells on administration of quercetin with drug.[37],[38]

Interestingly, results are reported that kaempferol in combination with TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand is considered a promising anticancer agent. It induces apoptosis, nuclear condensation, and DNA fragmentation in various types of cancer cells in vitro and in vivo but showed insignificant or no toxicity to normal cells.[39] According to Kim and Jang et al., kaempferol reduces lung cancer, NOX-mediated neurodegeneration, and also has significant effects in signal transduction and cellular growth pathways.[40],[41] Kaempferol possess dose-dependent chemopreventative properties against cancer that provoke apoptosis in ovarian cancer cells through elevating the expression of p53, Bax, Bad, and caspases 3, 6, 7, 9 protein. In addition, Kaempferol is reported to decrease the activation of antiapoptotic proteins, Bcl-2, and Bcl-xL.[42]

Studies have reported that coumarins possess antioxidant properties which showed dose-dependent effects on different cancer cell lines.[43],[44],[45],[46] Recently, Peiren and Lu have reported that coumarin and its derivatives acted as radioprotectors and were effective when administered before or after irradiation.[11] Treating cells with coumarin induced apoptosis through stimulating G0/G1 cell cycle arrest, depolarization of mitochondrial membrane potential, fragmentation of DNA and decreased antiapototic protein expression in cancer cell line.[44],[46],[47] It is also shown that β-sitosterol (phytosterol) which ameliorates antioxidant level by attenuating JNK and AP-1 pathway and subsequently cleaves the caspase 3 and PARP resulting in radioprotection to thymocytes.[13]

  Conclusion Top

The bioactive compounds from plant sources have been found to possess ability to modulate a number of signaling pathways during initiation and progression of cancer. In the present paper, we have presented the recent progress in understanding on the mechanisms of radioprotection of normal living cells by some major bioactive compounds such as quercetin, coumarin, and kaempferol. On the other hand, these compounds have been found to exhibit sensitization of tumor cells to ionizing radiation which may be of relevance in cancer radiotherapy. Most of the compounds described in this review are found in the alcoholic root extracts of A. speciosa. As discussed above, research has shown that these flavonoids and polyphenolic compounds possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory properties pointing to great promise as radiosensitizer to cancer cells; however, at the same time offers radioprotection to normal cells. However, it remains to be investigated the detailed mechanism of action of radioprotective and radiosensitization properties. It seems highly interesting that herbal compounds offer potential for practical applications as radioprotectors in nuclear accidents and radiation emergencies and at the same time, turn out to be effective radiosensitizer for cancer radiotherapy.

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There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

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