Research: Sun Ten Isatis Root (Ban Lan Gen) could act as a Radioprotector.


 Indigowoad root extract protects hematopoietic cells, reduces tissue damage and modulates inflammatory cytokines after total-body irradiation: Does Indirubin play a role in radioprotection?


By Weir ChiangYou a,b, Wen Chuan Lin c, Jia Tsz Huang e, Chang Chi Hsieh d,f,



Radix of Isatis indigotica (indigowoad root,IR) has been used in traditional medicine for its potential anti-inflammatory effect. The purpose of this study is to investigate the radioprotective effects of radiation caused damages in hematopoietic system and normal tissues in mice. A total of 57 BALB/c mice were randomized into six treatment groups: control, IR treatment (0.195,0.585and1.170g/kg,p.o. daily), L-glutamine(0.520g/kg) and sham group. All mice except the sham group were irradiated and then administered for one week. The radioprotective effect on hematopoietic system, serum cytokines, and intestinal toxicity was studied. Protective effects on spleen and thymus are founding IR-treated groups. IR assisted in restoration of leukocytopenia after whole mice irradiation with significant reduction of serum TNF-a, IL-1b, andIL-6. These enhancements of hematopoietic effects are due to an increase in the serum G-CSF concentration in IR treated groups. In histopathological assessment, significant improvement of intestinetoxicity is observed in high-dose IR and L-glutamine group. Evidences show that IR has potentials to be a radioprotector, especially in recovery of hematopoietic system, reduction of inflammatory cytokines and intestinaltoxicity. Indirubin may play a crucial role, but the underlying mechanism is not very clear and warrants further studies.


Keywords: Anti-inflammation, hematopoiesis, indigowoad root, Isatis indigotica, Radioprotection, Indirubin

  1. Introduction
  2. Materials and methods
    1. Experimental animals
    2. Preparation of the drugs and regimen dosing: IR extract powder was purchased from Sun Ten Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., Taiwan. The powder was composed of IR concentrated extract with an absorption ratio of 2:1 to IR powder. L-glutamine powder was purchased from Baxter Cooperation (Illinois, USA). IR and L-glutamine was dissolved in double-distilled water immediately before use and was administrated orally using curved needles.
    3. Chromatographic conditions
    4. Experimental design and irradiation
    5. Hematopoietic system evaluation
    6. Estimation of serum cytokines
    7. Assessment of intestinal toxicity
    8. Statistical analysis
  3. Results
    1. Quantitative measurement of indirubin using HPLC
    2. Radioprotective effect of IR in hematopoietic system
    3. Inflammatory cytokines assay
    4. Histopathological study of intestinal toxicity
  4. Discussion
  5. References

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