Share this Article
Ibraheem NK, Ahmed JH, Hassan MK
Correspondence: Dr Jawad H Ahmed, firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction Various drugs have been investigated in the treatment of sickle cell disease (SCD), such as hydroxyurea, piracetam and calcium antagonists. Most of these drugs are potentially toxic and are not suitable for long-term therapy. Recently, Nigella sativa (NS) has been reported to have calcium antagonist and antioxidant activities, both of which play a role in the management of the disease. This study aimed to investigate the in vitro antisickling effect of extracts from NS.
Methods Thirty-two patients with SCD, aged 7–47 years old, were recruited for the study. A total of 3 ml of venous blood was collected from each patient and divided into six tubes with heparin. The blood was mixed with 0.5 ml of either 0.1 percent, 0.05 percent or 0.01 percent v/v of the oil extract of NS. A slide was prepared by spreading a drop of treated blood, covered with a cover slide to ensure the complete deoxygenation condition. The separation of irreversibly sickled cells (ISCs) was performed on eight patients by a density gradient (Percoll-Renografin) centrifugation method.
Results The 0.1 percent v/v concentration of the oil extract of NS resulted in an approximately 80 percent reduction in the formation of sickle cells. The 0.05 percent v/v concentration of NS produced an intermediate effect, while the 0.01 percent v/v concentration had no effect on the formation of sickle cells. The 0.1 percent v/v concentration of the fixed oil of NS led to a considerable reduction in the formation of ISCs.
Conclusion The fixed oil extracted from NS seeds has an in vitro antisickling activity.
Keywords: antioxidant, antisickling, fixed oil extract, Nigella sativa
Singapore Med J 2010; 51(3): 230-234