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Antigenotoxic and antimutagenic effects of Schinus terebinthifolius Raddi in Allium cepa and Swiss mice: A comparative study

Author(s): L.E.S. Fedel-Miyasato, A.S.N. Formagio, S.A. Auharek, C.A.L. Kassuya, S.D. Navarro, A.L. Cunha-Laura, A.C.D. Monreal, M.C. Vieira and R.J. Oliveira

It is estimated that 60% of anticancer drugs are derived directly or indirectly from medicinal plants. Schinus terebinthifolius Raddi (Anacardiaceae) is traditionally used in Brazilian medicine to treat inflammation, ulcers, and tumors. Because of the need to identify new antimutagenic agents and to determine their mechanism of action, this study evaluated the chemopreventive activity of the methanolic extract from leaves of S. terebinthifolius (MEST) in Allium cepa cells and in Swiss mice analyzing different protocols of MEST in association with DNA-damaging agents. The antigenotoxic and antimutagenic aspects in peripheral blood were evaluated using the comet and micronucleus assays, respectively. The percentage of damage reduction was used to compare the A. cepa and mice results. Our results showed for the first time that MEST can act as a chemopreventive compound that promotes cellular genome integrity by desmutagenic and bioantimutagenic activities in vegetal and animal models. This finding may therefore have therapeutic applications that can indirectly correlate to the prevention and/or treatment of the degenerative diseases such as cancer.