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First cytotoxic, genotoxic, and antigenotoxic assessment of Euterpe oleracea fruit oil (açaí) in cultured human cells

Author(s): E.S. Marques, M.S.F. Tsuboy, J.C.T. Carvalho, P.C.P. Rosa, F.F. Perazzo, I.O.M. Gaivão and E.L. Maistro

Euterpe oleracea Mart., popularly known as “açaí”, is a tropical fruit from the Amazon region where it has considerable economic importance. Açaí has been used as food and for several medicinal purposes. Despite the widespread use of this fruit, there is a lack of data regarding the safety of using this fruit oil exclusively. Therefore, we evaluated the in vitro cytotoxic, genotoxic, and antigenotoxic effects of E. oleracea fruit oil (EOO) in cultured human lymphocytes (non-metabolizing cells) and HepG2 cell line (human hepatoma) (metabolizing cells) by using MTT, comet, and micronucleus assays. A wide range of EOO concentrations was tested with a preliminary MTT assay, which allowed selecting five concentrations for comet and micronucleus assays: 2.5, 10, 100, 500, and 1000 µg/mL. The results showed that none of the EOO tested concentrations presented cytotoxic effects. The genotoxic assessment revealed an absence of significant DNA and chromosome damage in human lymphocytes and HepG2 cells but did not show chemoprotection against the DNA damage induced by methyl methanesulfonate and benzo[a]pyrene, used as DNA-damaging agents.