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Open Access Research article

Nongenotoxic effects and a reduction of the DXR-induced genotoxic effects of Helianthus annuus Linné (sunflower) seeds revealed by micronucleus assays in mouse bone marrow

Marcelo Fabiano Gomes Boriollo123*, Luiz Silva Souza12, Marielly Reis Resende4, Thaísla Andrielle da Silva12, Nelma de Mello Silva Oliveira14, Maria Cristina Costa Resck13, Carlos Tadeu dos Santos Dias5 and João Evangelista Fiorini12

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratório de Farmacogenômica e Biologia Molecular, Faculdade de Ciências Médicas & Centro de Pesquisa e Pós–graduação, Universidade José do Rosário Vellano (UNIFENAS), Campus Universitário, Rod. MG 179, Km 0, Alfenas, MG CEP: 37130-000, Brasil

2 Centro de Pesquisa e Pós–graduação em Ciência Animal, Área de Patologia e Farmacologia Animal, Universidade José do Rosário Vellano (UNIFENAS), Alfenas, Minas Gerais, Brasil

3 Centro de Cirurgia Experimental e Farmacologia, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas (UNICAMP), São Paulo, Brasil

4 Laboratório de Ecotoxicologia e Microbiologia Ambiental, Faculdade de Tecnologia, Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP), Limeira, São Paulo, Brasil

5 Departamento de Ciências Exatas, Escola de Agricultura “Luiz de Queiroz”, Universidade de São Paulo (ESALQ/USP), Piracicaba, SP, Brasil

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014, 14:121  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-121

Published: 2 April 2014



This research evaluated the genotoxicity of oil and tincture of H. annuus L. seeds using the micronucleus assay in bone marrow of mice. The interaction between these preparations and the genotoxic effects of doxorubicin (DXR) was also analysed (antigenotoxicity test).


Experimental groups were evaluated at 24-48 h post treatment with N-Nitroso-N-ethylurea (positive control – NEU), DXR (chemotherapeutic), NaCl (negative control), a sunflower tincture (THALS) and two sources of sunflower oils (POHALS and FOHALS). Antigenotoxic assays were carried out using the sunflower tincture and oils separately and in combination with NUE or DXR.


For THALS, analysis of the MNPCEs showed no significant differences between treatment doses (250–2,000 mg.Kg-1) and NaCl. A significant reduction in MNPCE was observed when THALS (2,000 mg.Kg-1) was administered in combination with DXR (5 mg.Kg-1). For POHALS or FOHALS, analysis of the MNPCEs also showed no significant differences between treatment doses (250–2,000 mg.Kg-1) and NaCl. However, the combination DXR + POHALS (2,000 mg.Kg-1) or DXR + FOHALS (2,000 mg.Kg-1) not contributed to the MNPCEs reduction.


This research suggests absence of genotoxicity of THALS, dose-, time- and sex-independent, and its combination with DXR can reduce the genotoxic effects of DXR. POHALS and FOHALS also showed absence of genotoxicity, but their association with DXR showed no antigenotoxic effects.

Bone marrow; Helianthus annuus L. (sunflower); Micronucleus assay; Rodents; Tincture; Oil