• Durga M CNST, Anna University
  • Nathiya S CNST, Anna University
  • Devasena T CNST, Anna University


Objective & Methods: Inhaled nanoparticles of air borne origin enter the bloodstream and react with the circulatory system leading to cardiovascular and systemic events. Fenugreek (Trigonella foecum-graecum) and quercetin are known for their antioxidant and antitoxic potentials. To understand this mechanism we studied in detail the interaction of petrol exhaust nanoparticles (PEPs) treated with or without aqueous fenugreek leaf extract (EXT) or quercetin (Q) in rat erythrocytes (RBC) invitro.

Results: Incubation of RBCs with PEP alone (1, 10 and 100 µg/ml) for 60 mins caused highest hemolytic activity (~upto 46%). Erythrocyte susceptibility to lipid peroxidation (invitro) measured by malondialdehyde content (MDA) showed significant dose dependent increase in MDA. The superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione (GSH) activities were found to significantly decrease (p<0.05) in a dose dependent manner when compared to the control. The glutathione S transferase (GST) levels was found to increase significantly (p<0.05) in the PEP treated groups. Prior treatment with the EXT or Q showed replenishments of antioxidant levels and brought the values to near normal, hence proving the protective effect of EXT or Q.

Conclusion: The phytochemicals in the EXT could play a key role in protecting the RBC cells against the petrol exhaust nanoparticle induced toxicity. Thus, the study demonstrates PEP induced erythrocyte toxicity in a dose dependent manner and the alleviative effects of the EXT and Q.


Durga M, Devasena T and Murthy PB. Toxicity of exhaust nanoparticles. Afr J Pharm Pharmaco 2013; 7: 318-331.

Brook RD, Rajagopalan S, Pope CA, Brook JR, Bhatnagar A, Diez-Roux AV et al. Particulate matter air pollution and cardiovascular disease an update to the scientific statement from the American heart association. Circulation 2010; 121: 2331-2378.

Mills NL, Donaldson K, Hadoke PW, Boon NA, MacNee W, Cassee FR,Sandstrom T, Blomberg A, Newby DE. Adverse cardiovascular effects of air pollution. Nat Clin Pract Cardiovasc Med 2009; 6: 36-44.

Durga M, Nathiya S, Rajasekar A and Devasena T. Effects of ultrafine Petrol exhaust particles on cytotoxicity, oxidative stress generation, DNA damage and inflammation in human A549 lung cells and murine RAW 264.7 macrophages. Environ Toxicol Pharm 2014; 38: 518-530.

Nemmar A, Hoet PH, Vanquickenborne B, Dinsdale D, Thomeer M, Hoylaerts MF, Vanbilloen H, Mortelmans L, Nemery B. Passage of inhaled particles into the blood circulation in humans. Circulation 2002; 105: 411-414.

Shimada A, Kawamura N, Okajima M, Kaewamatawong T, Inoue H, Morita T. Translocation pathway of the intratracheally instilled ultrafine particles from the lung into the blood circulation in the mouse. Toxicol Pathol 2006; 34: 949-957.

Delfino RJ, Staimer N, Tjoa T, Gillen DL, Polidori A, Arhami M et al. Air pollution exposures and circulating biomarkers of effect in a susceptible population: clues to potential causal component mixtures and mechanisms. Environ Health Perspect 2009; 117: 1232-1238.

Nemmar A, Zia S, Subramaniyan D, Amri IA, Kindi MAA, Ali BH. Interaction of Diesel Exhaust Particles with Human, Rat and Mouse Erythrocytes in Vitro. Cell Physiol Biochem 2012; 29: 163-170.

Rucker R, Phipps RP, Schneider A, Frampton M, Cyrys J, Oberdorster G, Wichmann HE, Peters A. Ultrafine particles and platelet activation in patients with coronary heart disease results from a prospective panel study. Part Fibre Toxicol 2007; 4: 1.

Nemmar A, Inuwa IM. Diesel exhaust particles in blood trigger systemic and pulmonary morphological alterations. Toxicol Lett 2008; 176: 20-30.

Gargouri B, Mansour RB, Abdallah FB, Elfekih A, Khaled SLH. Protective effect of quercetin against oxidative stress caused by dimethoate in human peripheral blood lymphocytes. Lipids in Health and Disease 2011; 10: 149.

Durga M, Nathiya S, Devasena T. Immunomodulatory and antioxidant actions of dietary flavonoids. Int J Pharm Pharm Sci 2014; 6: 50-56.

Dixit P, Ghaskadbi S, Mohan H, Devasagayam TP. Antioxidant properties of germinated feugreek seeds. Phytother Res 2005; 19: 977–983.

Sushma N, Devasena T. Aqueous extract of Trigonella foenum graecum (fenugreek) prevents cypermethrin-induced hepatotoxicity and nephrotoxicity. Hum Exp Toxicol 2010; 29: 311–319.

Rehman H, Ali M, Hatif F, Kaur M, Bahtia K, Sheikh R. The modulatory effect of deltamethrin on antioxidants in mice. Clinica Chimica Acta 2006; 369: 61–65.

Kaviarasan S , Vijayalakshmi K, Anuradha CV. Polyphenol-rich extract of fenugreek seeds protect erythrocytes from oxidative damage. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 2004; 59: 143-147.

Kook D, Wolf AH and Yu AL. The protective effect of quercetin against oxidative stress in the human RPE in vitro. Inv Ophthalmol and Visual Sci 2008; 49: 1712–1720.

Yetuk G, Pandir D, Bas H. Protective role of catechin and quercetin in sodium benzoate-induced lipid peroxidation and the antioxidant system in human erythrocytes in vitro. 2014; Article ID 874824: 6 pages.

Herck HV, Baumans V, Brandt CJWM, Boere HAG, Hesp APM, Van Lith HA et al.. Blood sampling from the retro-orbital plexus, the saphenous vein and the tail vein in rats: comparative effects on selected behavioural and blood variables. Laboratory Animals 2001; 35: 131-139.

Lu SL, Duffin R, Poland C, Daly P, Murphy F, Drost E et al. Efficacy of simple shortterm in vitro assays for predicting the potential of metal oxide nanoparticles to cause pulmonary inflammation. Environ Health Perspect 2009;117: 241-247.

Lefevre G, Beljean-Leymarie M, Beyerle F, Bonnefont-Rousselot D, Cristol JP, Therond P et al. Evaluation of lipid peroxidation by assaying the thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances. Ann Biolo Clin 1998; 56: 305-319.

McCord JM, Fridovich I. Superoxide dismutase: An enzymic function for erythrocuprein (hemocuprein). J Biol Chem 1969; 244: 6049-6055.

Marklund S, G.Marklund. Involvement of the superoxide anion radical in the autoxidation of pyrogallol and a convenient assay for superoxide dismutase. Eur J of Biochem 1974; 47: 469-474.

Aebi H. Catalase in vitro. Methods in Enzymology 1984; 105: 121–126.

Ellman GL. Tissue sulphydryl groups. Arch Biochem Biophys 1959; 82: 70–77.

Vermylen J, Nemmar A, Nemery B, Hoylaerts MF. Ambient air pollution and acute myocardial infarction. J Thromb Haemost 2005; 3: 1955-1961.

Terzano C, Di Stefano F, Conti V, Graziani E, Petroianni A. Air pollution ultrafine particles: toxicity beyond the lung. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 2010; 14: 809- 821.

Seaton A, Soutar A, Crawford V, Elton R, McNerlan S, Cherrie J et al. Particulate air pollution and the blood. Thorax 1999; 54: 1027-1032.

Li SQ, Zhu RR, Zhu H, Xue M, Sun XY, Yao SD, Wang SL. Nanotoxicity of TiO2 nanoparticles to erythrocyte in vitro. Food Chem Toxicol 2008; 46: 3626-3631.

Geiser M, Rothen-Rutishauser B, Kapp N, Schurch S, Kreyling W, Schulz H et al. Ultrafine particles cross cellular membranes by nonphagocytic mechanisms in lungs and in cultured cells. Environ Health Perspect 2005; 113: 1555-1560.

Dikmen B, Unal Y, Pampal HK, Nurlu N, Kurtipek O, Canbolat O, Ozogul C, Kavutcu M. Effects of repeated desflurane and sevoflurane anesthesia on enzymatic free radical scavenger system. Mol Cell Biochem 2007; 294: 31-36.

Sadowska-Woda I, Popowicz D, Karowicz-Bilinska A: Bifenthrin-induced oxidative stress in human erythrocytes in vitro and protective effect of selected flavonols. Toxicol in Vitro 2010; 24: 460- 464.

Reddy CSSS, Subramanyam MVV, Vani R, Devi SA. In vitro models of oxidative stress in rat erythrocytes: Effect of antioxidant supplements. Toxicol in Vitro 2007; 21: 1355-1364.

Liu S, Manson JE, Lee IM, Cole SR, Hennekens CH, Willett WC et al. Fruit and vegetable intake and risk of cardiovascular disease: the Women’s Health study. Am J Clin Nutr 2000; 72: 922-928.

Sesso HD, Gaziano JM, Liu S, Buring JE. Flavonoid intake and the risk of cardiovascular disease in women. Am J Clin Nutr 2003; 77: 1400-1408.

Sarkar S, Yadav P, Bhatnagar D. Cadmium-induced lipid peroxidation and the antioxidant system in rat erythrocytes the role of antioxidants. J Trace Elem Med and Biol 1997; 11: 8-13.

Delgado ME, Haza AI, Garcia A and Morales P. Myricetin, quercetin, (+)-catechin and (−)-epicatechin protect against N-nitrosamines-induced DNA damage in human hepatoma cells. Toxicol. In. Vitro 2009; 23: 1292–1297.

Kaeko M, Yuki M, Mami I, Tojiro T, Sayuri M, Junji T. Quercetin-4′-glucoside is more potent than quercetin-3-glucoside in protection of rat intestinal mucosa homogenates against iron-induced lipid peroxidation. J Agric Food Chem 2004; 52: 1907–1912.

Boots AW, Wilms LC, Swennen ELR, Kleinjans JCS, Bast A and Haenen GRMM. In vitro and ex vivo anti-inflammatory activity of quercetin in healthy volunteers. Nutrition 2008; 24: 703-710.

Mi Y, Zhang C, Li C, Taneda S, Watanabe G, Suzuki AK, Taya K. Quercetin attenuates oxidative damage induced by treatment of embryonic chicken spermatogonial cells with 4-nitro-3-phenylphenol in diesel exhaust particles. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 2010; 74: 934.

Mi Y, Zhang C, Li C, Taneda S, Watanabe G, Suzuki AK, Taya K. Quercetin protects embryonic chicken spermatogonial cells from oxidative damage intoxicated with 3-methyl-4-nitrophenol in primary culture. Toxicol Lett 2009; 190: 61-65.

Mi Y, Zhang C. Protective Effect of Quercetin on Aroclor 1254–Induced Oxidative Damage in Cultured Chicken Spermatogonial Cells. Toxicol Sci 2005; 88: 545-550.

Giray B, Gurbay A, Hincal F. Cypermethrin induced oxidative stress in rat brain and liver is prevented by vitamin E or allopurinol. Toxicol Lett, 2001; 118: 139–146.

Ravikumar P, Anuradha CV. Effect of fenugreek seeds on blood lipid peroxidation and antioxidants in diabetic rats. Phytother Res 1999; 13: 197–201.

Bhatia K, Kaur M, Atif F, Ali M, Rehman H, Rahman S, Raisuddin S. Aqueous extract of Trigonella foenumgraecum L. ameliorates additive urotoxicity of buthionine sulfoximine and cyclophosphamide in mice. Food Chem Toxicol 2006; 44: 1744–1750.

Bors W, Heller W, Michel C and Saran M. Flavonoids as antioxidants: Determination of radical scavenging efficiencies. Methods Enzymol 1990; 186: 343.



How to Cite




Original Article(s)