Cytoprotection against Cr6+-induced DNA damage by alpha-lipoic acid: implications in reducing occupational cancer risk

Alpha-lipoic acid (LA), the metabolic antioxidant, was evaluated for its potential to protect against Cr6+-induced DNA damage. Potassium dichromate was administered to Swiss albino mice orally ad libitum at the doses of 5, 10 or 25 mg/kg body weight in drinking water to set DNA damage in cells, which was characterized in mouse peripheral blood mononuclear cells and bone marrow cells using single-cell gel electrophoresis and analyses of generated comets for Tail moment, Tail DNA and Tail length. DNA damage was dose dependent. Cytoprotection by LA was remarkable. LA (5, 10 and 25 mg/kg body weight intraperitoneally) in pre-, co- and post-toxicant administration schedule abrogated DNA damage substantially in both cell types. Protection by LA was also dose dependent. LA annulled DNA damage by Cr6+ in plasmid relaxation assay. A negligible DNA damage resulted during interaction of Cr6+ and LA. Compared to ascorbate, LA emerged as a better antioxidant and least DNA damaging. In conclusion, our study advocated an experimental therapeutic research potential in LA against Cr6+-induced DNA damage for reduction of occupational cancer risk in humans.