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Genetics and Molecular Biology

Print version ISSN 1415-4757


VIDAL, Leonardo S. et al. Genotoxicity and mutagenicity of Echinodorus macrophyllus (chapéu-de-couro) extracts. Genet. Mol. Biol. [online]. 2010, vol.33, n.3, pp.549-557.  Epub July 02, 2010. ISSN 1415-4757.

Echinodorus macrophyllus, commonly known as chapéu-de-couro, is a medicinal plant used in folk medicine to treat inflammation and rheumatic diseases. In this work, we used short-term bacterial assays based on the induction of SOS functions to examine the genotoxicity and mutagenicity of an aqueous extract of E. macrophyllus leaves. Whole extract and an ethyl acetate fraction showed similar genotoxicity and caused an ~70-fold increase in lysogenic induction. The extract also gave a positive result in the SOS chromotest with an increase of 12-fold in β-Galactosidase enzymatic units. There was a strong trend towards base substitutions and frameshifts at purine sites in the mutations induced by the extract in Escherichia coli (CC103 and CC104 strains) and Salmonella typhimurium test strains (22-fold increase in histidine revertants in TA98 strain). Since reactive oxygen species may be implicated in aging process and in degenerative diseases, we used antioxidant compounds as catalase, thiourea and dipyridyl in the lysogenic induction test. All this compounds were able to reduce the induction factor observed in the treatment with chapéu-de-couro, thus suggesting that the genotoxicity and mutagenicity were attributable to the production of reactive oxygen species that targeted DNA purines.

Keywords : Echinodorus macrophyllus; genotoxicity; mutagenesis; reactive oxygen species.

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