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Eulophia Herbaceae (EH) is a widely distributed plant in India and is found mainly on terrestrial and hill slopes as forest undergrowth in the area of Himalaya, Bengal and Eastern part of India. The tubers of EH are traditionally used for treatment of various diseases such as tumors of scrofulous glands of neck, treatment on worms, rheumatism and is also used for ailment of pimples. Decoction of tuber is used on spermatorrhoea, urinary complaints and menses. Tubers are source of salep, pseudobulbs and are used as tonic. In this study, the chemopreventive effect of triterpenoid fraction of tubers from EH was investigated. The triterpenoid fraction of EH (TFEH) showed a strong chemopreventive activity against DMBA/Croton oil induced two stage mouse skin carcinogenesis. The mechanistic pathway for the chemopreventive potential of TFEH was evaluated by analyzing the status of enzymatic (CAT, SOD) and non enzymatic (reduced glutathione) detoxification agents and lipid peroxidation during DMBA-induced skin carcinogenesis. The results obtained showed significant reduction of the incidence and number of skin papillomas, tumor burden, tumor volume along with significant elevation of phase II detoxifying enzymes (CAT and SOD) and inhibition of lipid peroxidation in liver. The present study thus demonstrates that TFEH has significant suppressing effect on cell proliferation during DMBA-induced mouse skin carcinogenesis. The chemopreventive potential of TFEH is probably due to its modulating effect on the status of lipid peroxidation, antioxidants and detoxification agents during DMBA-induced skin carcinogenesis.
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