Modulatory effect of Ficus carica on oxidative stress and hematological changes induced by gamma-radiation in male albino rats


The fig, Ficus carica L. (Moraceae), is a rich source of polysaccharides that possessed anti-tumour and anti-oxidant properties. The present study aimed to evaluate the ability of F. carica to protect against radiation-induced changes in certain biochemical and hematological parameters. This was achieved by measuring different hematological parameters, antioxidant enzyme activities, and lipid peroxidation; histological examination of liver and kidney was also performed. Rats used in this study were divided into four groups of 10 each- group 1: control, group 2: F. carica, group 3: irradiated rats, and group 4: F. carica pretreated irradiated rats. Ficus carica extract was prepared in water in a 1:3 w:v ratio and administered by gavage for three consecutive weeks before whole body gamma irradiation with 8 Gy (single dose). Five rats were sacrificed from each group at 24 and 72 h after radiation exposure. Irradiation resulted in marked reduction in white blood cell (WBC), platelets (PLT), lymphocyte, and neutrophil counts, whereas no significant changes were observed in red blood cells (RBCs) count, mean corpuscular volume (MCV), haemoglobin (Hb) concentration, mean corpuscular Hb (MCH), red cell distribution width (RDW), hematocrit (HCT) mean corpuscular Hb concentration (MCHC) and mean PLT volume (MPV). Radiation treatment increased thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) levels, catalase and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities, and caused hepatic and renal damage. Oral administration of F. carica before irradiation significantly increased WBC, PLT, lymphocytes and neutrophils counts, along with a decrease in TBARS levels, and catalase and SOD activities in serum, liver, and kidney. These results suggested that consumption of F. carica a natural product with antioxidant capacity and capability to quench singlet oxygen could help mitigate cellular damage caused by whole-body irradiation-induced free radicals.

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Authors extend their appreciation to College of Science, King Saud University; for providing all facilities to complete this work.


This research project was supported by a grant from the “Research Center of the Female Scientific and Medical Colleges”, Deanship of Scientific Research, King Saud University.

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Correspondence to Dalia Fouad.

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All procedures contributing to this work comply with the ethical standards of the relevant national guides on the care and use of laboratory animals and have been approved and authorized by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) at King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

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1. F. carica can be used with other radioprotectors as an adjuvant therapy during radio- and chemotherapy. As F. carica enhances the immune system and has antioxidant potential

2. It can reverse the irradiation-induced alterations in hepato- and renal damage.

3. It ameliorated many of the harmful effects of radiation exposure.

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Fouad, D., Al-Obaidi, E., Badr, A. et al. Modulatory effect of Ficus carica on oxidative stress and hematological changes induced by gamma-radiation in male albino rats. Biologia 75, 1313–1324 (2020).

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  • Ionizing radiation
  • Ficus carica
  • Hematology
  • Oxidative stress
  • Experimental animals