Background and Objective: Radiation exposure can cause several harmful effects in biological systems due to free radical production. Several antioxidants have been tested as potential hepatoprotective agents against ionizing radiation as they lower oxidative stress in normal cells induced by Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). The present study was conducted to evaluate the possible ameliorative effects of Juniperus phoenicea L. Materials and Methods: Aqueous leaves extract on different biochemical and histopathological parameters against whole body gamma-irradiation-induced oxidative stress, organ dysfunction and metabolic disturbances in experimental Swiss Albino rats. After a single dose of gamma-radiation (6 Gy), there was a significant reduction in albumin, total protein and globulin levels and a significant increase in the liver enzymes (ALT, AST, ALP and GGT) and lipid profile parameters (cholesterol, triglyceride, HDL-cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol) in gamma-irradiated rats unlike in normal controls. Results: The gamma-irradiated rats pre-treated with J. phoenicea leaf extracts, however, showed a significant increase in albumin, total protein and globulin levels and a significant reduction in liver enzymes and lipid profile parameters as opposed to the untreated ones. The gamma-irradiated rats showed toxic changes in the liver, whereas, the rats pre-treated with J. phoenicea leaves extract demonstrated a protective effect. Additionally, gamma- irradiation caused myocardial degenerative changes, interstitial edema between muscle fibers, necrosis and inflammatory cells infiltration and fibrotic and cellular damages to the heart, but J. phoenicea leaves extract were found to ameliorate the gamma-irradiation-induced changes in the heart. Conclusion: The results suggested that treatment with J. phoenicea leaves extract is possibly safe and can ameliorate gamma-irradiation-induced oxidative damage and tissue injury in rats. The leaves of J. phoenicea could serve as a potential source of therapeutic antioxidants.
Eldessoky S. Dessoky, Ismail A. Ismail, Ehab I. El-Hallous and Walaa F. Alsanie, 2020. Protective Role of Juniperus phoenicea L. Leaves Extract against Gamma-irradiation-induced Oxidative Stress. Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences, 23: 922-930.