Phyllanthus orbicularis HBK is an endemic Cuban plant whose aqueous extract has been proposed as an effective drug for the treatment of viral diseases. In addition, antimutagenic properties of this extract have also been reported. In the present study, the genotoxicity of this plant extract was assessed using different in vitro and in vivo assays. Results from SOS gene induction, gene reversion and conversion, and SMART assays clearly show that P. orbicularis aqueous extract does not induce either primary DNA damage or mutation. Additionally, no statistically significant difference was found in the percentage of chromosomal aberrations in Chinese hamster ovarian (CHO) cells treated with the plant extract. On the contrary, micronuclei and abnormal anaphase were induced by this extract in CHO cells. This genotoxic effect was related to a high cytotoxicity. Single spots were detected in the SMART assay. These results point to a possible aneugenic effect of the P. orbicularis aqueous extract at cytotoxic doses which are much higher than those seen by their antiviral and antimutagenic activities. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
- In vitro and in vivo assays
- Phyllanthus orbicularis