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J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Jul 15;124(2):321-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2009.04.022. Epub 2009 May 3.

Mutagenic and genotoxic effects of Baccharis dracunculifolia (D.C.).

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  • 1Programa de Pós-Graduação em Genética e Toxicologia Aplicada, Universidade Luterana do Brasil (ULBRA), Canoas, RS, Brazil.


Baccharis dracunculifolia (D.C.) (Asteraceae), a native plant to Brazil known as "vassourinha" or "alecrim-do-campo", is the most important botanical source of a Brazilian propolis called green propolis. The leaf extracts of this plant have been used to treat liver and digestive disorders. It has been recognized that green propolis can induce mutagenic effects at high doses, but no study reporting possible mutagenic effects by Baccharis dracunculifolia extracts in the maximum tolerated dose has been conducted. The aim of the present study was to investigate the genotoxic and mutagenic effects of this plant in vivo. Adult CF-1 mice were treated with 0.5g/kg, 1.0g/kg or 2.0g/kg of an aqueous extract of Baccharis dracunculifolia by gavage for 3 consecutive days. Blood and liver samples were collected to detect DNA damage using the comet assay, while bone marrow samples were used to assess chromosome mutations by the micronucleus test. The extract increased the DNA damage in blood and liver tissues and the frequency of micronucleus in bone marrow. These findings suggest genotoxic and mutagenic effects of Baccharis dracunculifolia comparable to green propolis in mice.

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