Antimutagenic potential of curcumin on chromosomal aberrations in Allium cepa.
Hum Mol Genet. 2006 Sep 15;15(18):2743-51. Epub 2006 Aug 7. PMID: 17610326
Research Centre and Postgraduate Studies in Botany, Madura College, Madurai-625 011, Tamil Nadu, India.
Turmeric has long been used as a spice and food colouring agent in Asia. In the present investigation, the antimutagenic potential of curcumin was evaluated in Allium cepa root meristem cells. So far there is no report on the biological properties of curcumin in plant test systems. The root tip cells were treated with sodium azide at 200 and 300 microg/ml for 3 h and curcumin was given at 5, 10 and 20 microg/ml for 16 h, prior to sodium azide treatment. The tips were squashed after colchicine treatment and the cells were analyzed for chromosome aberration and mitotic index. Curcumin induces chromosomal aberration in Allium cepa root tip cells in an insignificant manner, when compared with untreated control. Sodium azide alone induces chromosomal aberrations significantly with increasing concentrations. The total number of aberrations was significantly reduced in root tip cells pretreated with curcumin. The study reveals that curcumin has antimutagenic potential against sodium azide induced chromosomal aberrations in Allium cepa root meristem cells. In addition, it showed mild cytotoxicity by reducing the percentage of mitotic index in all curcumin treated groups, but the mechanism of action remains unknown. The antimutagenic potential of curcumin is effective at 5 microg/ml in Allium cepa root meristem cells.