Protective effects of Nasturtium officinale extracts against genetic damage induced by cyclophosphamide in mice bone marrow cells
Chemotherapy drugs are toxic for tissues which have high growth and proliferation. Bone marrow toxicity is one of the major side effects of cyclophosphamide . Brassicaceae vegetables are rich sources of glucosinolates  which their anticancer effects have been reported . Watercress (Nasturtium officinale W.T. Aiton) is used as an edible vegetable in various parts of the world including Iran. The present study investigated the protective effects of methanolic and aqueous extracts of N. officinale against cyclophosphamide-induced genetic damage in mice bone marrow cells using micronucleus assay. The mice were divided into 14 groups with five mice per group. Group 1 (negative control) received 10 ml/kg body weight (bw) of saline solution and Group 2 (positive control) received cyclophosphamide 40 mg/kg bw intra-peritoneally (IP). The other groups were treated IP with the methanolic and aqueous extracts at doses of 20, 50 and 100 mg/kg bw for 15 days (sub acute) and 2h (acute) before injection of cyclophosphamide. The aqueous extract significantly (P < 0.001) reduced micronucleated polychromatic erythrocytes count at all doses administrated compared to the control which was more effective than the methanolic extract. There was no significant difference between the total phenolic and flavonoid contents in aqueous and methanolic extracts. As a result, it seems glucosinolates in aqueous extract may be responsible for these considerable protective effects. Our results suggest that watercress can be used in the diet of people who receive chemotherapy drugs.
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