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