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Journal of Cancer Prevention


Journal of Korean Association of Cancer prevention 2004; 9(4): 253-258

Published online December 30, 2004

© Korean Society of Cancer Prevention

The Inhibitory Effect of Antler on DNA Damage Using in Vitro Comet Assay

Yoo Kyoung Park, Eun-Jae Jean1 and Myung-Hee Kang1


The growing antler has been used for the treatment of various diseases in oriental medicine. Many reports made it evident that deer antlers have various effects: anti-inflammatory effects, anti-stress activities and anti-aging activities. This study was designed to investigate the anti-oxidant activity of antler extract or antler extract⁢herbal mixture. In addition, the anti-oxidant effect was compared between Korean antler and Russian antler. Human lymphocyte cells were treated with freeze-dried antler extract mixture at several doses that does not induce cytotoxicity (250, 1000, 20,000μg/ml) for one hour at 37oC. Cells were harvested and then treated with 100μM of H2O2 for 5 min at 4oC as an oxidative stress. Evaluation of the oxidative damage was performed by Comet assay (single-cell gel electrophoresis). Quantification was done by analyzing the tail moment of fragmented DNA migrated in the tail and then were expressed as relative score in relation to the damage of the positive control. Compared to the negative control cells, H2O2 treated cells showed a considerable DNA damage to the cells. Pre- treatment of antler extract mixture at a dose of 250, 1,000, 20,000μg/ml reduced the oxidative damage for 43.6, 56.8, 87.7%, respectively. The protective effect on DNA damage was greater in Korean antler (62.7%) than Russian antler (31.2%) and overall protective effect was higher in the antler alone than antler mixtures. These results indicate that antler treatment to human lymphocyte cells followed by oxidative stimulus (H2O2) inhibited damage to cellular DNA, supporting a possible protective role against oxidative damage induced by reactive oxygen species.

Keywords: Deer antler, DNA damage, Comet assay, Human lymphocyte cell

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