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Biochemical, cytotoxic and genotoxic effects of aescin on human lymphocytes and hl-60 promyeloid leukemia cell line

Topsoy Kolukısa, Serap
Aescin is a mixture of several acidic triterpenoid saponin glycosides found in the extracts of the horse chestnut tree. Horse chestnut, Aesculus Hipoocastanum, is one of the 25 domestic species of Aesculus that are mostly large, ornamental shade trees. Although known to be poisonous, the nuts of the horse chestnut are used by Amerindians, after detoxification. Horse chestnuts are said to have several traditional medicinal usages including even cancer. In this study the biochemical, genotoxic, and cytotoxic effects of aescin was studied using isolated lymphocytes, whole blood lymphocytes and HL-60 promyeloid leukemia cell lines. Cytotoxicity of aescin was examined by trypan blue viability staining of the cells in culture treated with varying aescin concentrations. It was observed that aescin was cytotoxic at all concentrations, for all cell types studied, except whole blood lymphocytes, where it was not cytotoxic at 10-9 and 10-10 M concentrations. Genotoxicity of aescin was examined by sister chromatid exchange and micronucleus. The genotoxic effect of Aescin was observed to be more significant over isolated lymphocytes compared to other cell lines. On the otherhand, aescin at 10-8 M and lower concentrations were observed to be non-genotoxic over whole blood lymphocytes whereas this concentration was considerably toxic for isolated lymphocytes and for HL-60 cell lines. Apoptotic properties of aescin were determined by DNA fragmentation, cytochrome c release and negative NAPO staining. All the Aescin concentrations tested resulted in apoptosis over HL-60 cell lines, whereas necrosis was not observed. However, isolated lymphocytes showed both apoptosis and necrosis upon treatment with 10-6 M to 10-8 M aescin, exhibiting apoptosis only at 10-9 M and 10-10 M. Biochemical effects of aescin were investigated by following GST and NAT enzyme activities. An increase in GST