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Diosgenin is a steroidal saponin found in a variety of plants including fenugreek and roots of wild yam and is widely used in traditional medicine systems. Diosgenin is shown to have anti-invasive, anti-proliferative and proapoptotic activities on wide range of cancer cells and a well known precursor of various synthetic steroidal drugs that are extensively used in the pharmaceutical industry. The present investigation explores the genotoxic and antigenotoxic properties of diosgenin in experimental mice exposed to cyclophosphamide. CP increases the formation of micronucleated PCEs in the bone marrow of mice significantly and lowers the total WBC. In mice pre-treated with diosgenin, the formation of mnPCEs is lowered in a dose dependent manner and the immune parameters are restored. Diosgenin also reduces the lipid per oxidation levels indicated by MDA assessment and restores the antioxidant GSH in the liver tissues of the mice, counteracting the effects of CP. In our study, Diosgenin did not exhibit inherent genotoxic properties nor had a synergistic effect with CP. These results indicate the potential of diosgenin as an antigenotoxic agent with a possibility to be used as an adjuvant, to counteract the side-effects of chemotherapeutic drugs.
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