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Open Access Research article

Mutagenicity and antimutagenicity of six Brazilian Byrsonima species assessed by the Ames test

Lívia Greghi Espanha1, Flávia Aparecida Resende1*, José de Sousa Lima Neto2, Paula Karina Boldrin1, Catarine Haidê Nogueira1, Mariana Santoro de Camargo1, Rone Aparecido De Grandis1, Lourdes Campaner dos Santos2, Wagner Vilegas3 and Eliana Aparecida Varanda1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Araraquara, UNESP- São Paulo State University, Rodovia Araraquara-Jaú, km 1, 14801-902 Araraquara, São Paulo, Brazil

2 Department of Organic Chemistry, Chemistry Institute of Araraquara, UNESP- São Paulo State University, Rua Francisco Degni s/n, Bairro Quitandinha, c.p. 355, 14800-900 Araraquara, São Paulo, Brazil

3 Campus do Litoral Paulista - Unidade São Vicente, UNESP-São Paulo State University, 11330-900 São Vicente, São Paulo, Brazil

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014, 14:182  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-182

Published: 5 June 2014

Abstract

Background

In various regions of Brazil, several species of the genus Byrsonima (Malpighiaceae) are widely used to treat gastrointestinal complications. This genus has about 150 species of shrubs and trees distributed over the entire Neotropical region. Various biological activities have been identified in these plants, especially antioxidant, antimicrobial and topical and systemic anti-inflammatory activities. The aim of this study was to investigate the mutagenicity and antimutagenicity of hydroalcoholic leaf extracts of six species of Byrsonima: B. verbascifolia, B. correifolia, B. coccolobifolia, B. ligustrifolia, B. fagifolia and B. intermedia by the Salmonella microsome assay (Ames test).

Methods

Mutagenic and antimutagenic activity was assessed by the Ames test, with the Salmonella typhimurium tester strains TA100, TA98, TA97a and TA102, with (+S9) and without (-S9) metabolization, by the preincubation method.

Results

Only B. coccolobifolia and B. ligustrifolia showed mutagenic activity. However, the extracts of B. verbascifolia, B. correifolia, B. fagifolia and B. intermedia were found to be strongly antimutagenic against at least one of the mutagens tested.

Conclusions

These results contribute to valuable data on the safe use of medicinal plants and their potential chemopreventive effects. Considering the excellent antimutagenic activities extracted from B. verbascifolia, B. correifolia, B. fagifolia and B. intermedia, these extracts are good candidate sources of chemopreventive agents. However, B. coccolobifolia and B. ligustrifolia showed mutagenic activity, suggesting caution in their use.

Keywords:
Salmonella/microsome assay; Chemoprevention; Medicinal plants