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Genetics and Molecular Biology

Print version ISSN 1415-4757On-line version ISSN 1678-4685


BELLINI, Marilanda Ferreira et al. Cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of Agaricus blazei methanolic extract fractions assessed using gene and chromosomal mutation assays. Genet. Mol. Biol. [online]. 2008, vol.31, n.1, pp.122-127. ISSN 1415-4757.

Functional food investigations have demonstrated the presence of substances that could be beneficial to human health when consumed. However, the toxic effects of some substances contained in foods have been determined. Reported medicinal and nutritive properties have led to the extensive commercialization of the basidiomycete fungi Agaricus blazei Murrill (sensu Heinemann), also known as Agaricus brasiliensis Wasser et al., Agaricus subrufescens Peck or the Brazilian medical mushroom (BMM). Different methanolic extract fractions (ME) of this mushroom were submitted to the cytokinesis-block micronucleus (CBMN) clastogenic assay and the hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyl transferase locus (HGPRT) assay for gene mutation, both using Chinese hamster ovary cells clone K1 (CHO-K1). The results suggest that all the fractions tested possess cytotoxic and mutagenic potential but no clastogenic effects. Further information is needed on the biochemical components of the A. blazei methanol fractions to identify any substances with cytotoxic and/or mutagenicity potential. These findings indicate that A. blazei methanolic extract should not be used due to their genotoxicity and care should be taken in the use of A. blazei by the general population until further biochemical characterization of this fungi is completed.

Keywords : Agaricus blazei; hgprt locus; micronucleus.

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