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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2011, Vol. 9 ›› Issue (7): 752-760.doi: 10.3736/jcim20110709

• Original Experimental Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Potentized homeopathic drug Arsenicum Album 30C positively modulates protein biomarkers and gene expressions in Saccharomyces cerevisae exposed to arsenate

Durba Das1, Arnab De1, Suman Dutta1, Raktim Biswas1, Naoual Boujedaini2, Anisur Rahman Khuda-Bukhsh1()   

  1. 1. Cytogenetics and Molecular Biology Laboratory, Department of Zoology, University of Kalyani, Kalyani 741235, India
    2. Boiron Laboratory, Lyon, France
  • Received:2011-01-18 Accepted:2011-04-06 Online:2011-07-20 Published:2018-10-14
  • Supported by:
    This work has been financially supported by Boiron Laboratory, Leon, France

Objective: This study examines if homeopathic drug Arsenicum Album 30C (Ars Alb 30C) can elicit ameliorative responses in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) exposed to arsenate.
Methods: The yeast S. cerevisiae 699 was cultured in a standard yeast extract peptone dextrose broth medium. It was exposed to the final concentration of 0.15 mmol/L arsenate for two intervals, 1 h and 2 h, respectively. The cell viability was determined along with the assessment of several toxicity biomarkers such as catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), total thiol (GSH) and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH), lipid peroxidation, protein carbonylation and DNA damage. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation, expressions of relevant stress transcription activators like Yap-1 and Msn 2, and mRNA expression of yeast caspase-1 (Yca-1) were also measured.
Results: Treatment of arsenate increased lipid peroxidation, protein carbonylation, DNA damage, ROS accumulation and expressions of Yap-1, Msn 2 and Yca-1 and decreased GSH, G6PDH, CAT and SOD. Ars Alb 30C administration decreased lipid peroxidation, protein carbonylation, DNA damage, ROS formation and Msn 2 and Yca-1 expressions and increased cell viability, GSH, G6PDH, CAT and SOD significantly (P<0.05), except for a slight increase in Yap-1 expression.
Conclusion: Ars Alb 30C triggers ameliorative responses in S. cerevisiae exposed to arsenate.

Key words: Saccharomyces, arsenicals, homeopathy, reactive oxygen species, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction


Primer Sequence


Group n Percentage of viable cells
(methylene blue staining)
Percentage of viable cells
(MTT assay)
1 h 2 h 1 h 2 h
Normal control 9 98.270±0.730 98.660±0.667 100.000±0 100.000±0
Arsenate-treated 9 78.417±0.217 73.063±0.130 82.140±0.199 70.310±0.317
Positive control (Arsenate+placebo) 9 78.633±0.376 71.933±0.200 81.540±0.280 70.430±0.296
Drug-treated (Arsenate+Ars Alb 30C) 9 81.567±0.467* 76.240±0.229* 85.977±0.440* 74.467±0.740*


Group n Lipid peroxidation
(nmol/mg protein)
Protein carbonylation
(ng/mg protein)
GSH content
(μmol/L per 106 cells)
1 h
2 h
2 h
1 h
2 h
Normal control 9 0.041±0.001 0.068±0.001 903.3±3.3 968.6±10.6 2.723±0.020 2.790±0.003
Arsenate-treated 9 0.059±0 0.079±0.001 1718.7±3.6 2580.3±17.6 2.070±0.073 2.260±0.004
Positive control (Arsenate+placebo) 9 0.060±0.001 0.078±0.001 1722.7±6.3 2610.3±11.3 2.100±0.050 2.261±0.003
Drug-treated (Arsenate+Ars Alb 30C) 9 0.045±0.001* 0.073±0.001* 1299.3±0.7* 2271.0±6.1* 2.390±0.037* 2.470±0.028*


1 h 2 h 1 h 2 h 1 h 2 h
Normal control 9 84.51±0.50 82.83±0.92 12.47±0.23 13.14±0.23 37.4±0.4 38.2±0.9
Arsenate-treated 9 70.51±0.25 65.10+0.25 9.11±0.05 10.53±0.03 20.9±0.1 18.9±0.9
Positive control (Arsenate+placebo) 9 70.67±0.16 64.90±0.17 9.2±0.20 10.57±0.01 20.7±0.3 18.8±1.0
Drug-treated (Arsenate+Ars Alb 30C) 9 77.70±0.60* 72.43±0.26* 10.22±0.22* 12.14±0.02* 28.7±1.2* 23.5±0.4*

Figure 1

Comet assay of cells in different groups (Light microscopy, ×200) Photographs of ethidium bromide-stained nuclei of control and treated cells under a fluorescence microscope after single cell gel electrophoresis. A: control; B: arsenate; C: arsenate plus placebo; D: arsenate plus Ars Alb 30C."


Group n Comet tail length (μm)
1 h 2 h
Normal control 9 79.40±0.30 79.30±0.38
Arsenate-treated 9 146.13±4.84 229.40±1.86
Positive control (Arsenate+placebo) 9 151.53±1.43 231.30±5.30
Drug-treated (Arsenate+Ars Alb 30C) 9 124.10±2.81* 169.03±8.96*

Figure 2

Chromatin condensation of cells in different groups (Light microscopy, ×400) Photographs of DAPI-stained cells of different control and treated groups under fluorescence microscope. A: control; B: arsenate; C: arsenate plus placebo; D: arsenic plus Ars Alb 30C. DAPI: 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole."

Figure 3

Intracellular ROS accumulation FACS analysis of intracellular ROS produced by different control and treated yeast cells. A: control; B: arsenate; C: arsenate plus placebo; D: arsenate plus Ars Alb 30C. ROS: reactive oxygen species; FACS: fluorescence-activated cell sorting."

Figure 4

Expressions of Yap-1 and Msn 2 proteins tested by Western blotting A: Yap-1 expression after 1 h treatment; B: Yap-1 expression after 2 h treatment; C: Msn 2 expression after 1 h treatment; D: Msn 2 expression after 2 h treatment. Ln1: control; Ln2: arsenate; Ln3: arsenate plus placebo; Ln4: arsenate plus Ars Alb 30C."

Figure 5

Expression of Yca-1 tested by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction A: Yca-1 expression after 1 h treatment; B: Yca-1 expression after 2 h treatment; C: G3PDH housekeeping gene expression. Ln1: control; Ln2: arsenate; Ln3: arsenate plus placebo; Ln4: arsenate plus Ars Alb 30 C. Yca-1: yeast caspase-1; G3PDH: glucose-3-phosphate dehydrogenase."

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