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Toxicol Lett. 2002 Sep 5;135(1-2):103-110.

Inhibitory effect of chamomile essential oil on the sister chromatid exchanges induced by daunorubicin and methyl methanesulfonate in mouse bone marrow.

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Laboratorio de Genética, Escuela Nacional de Ciencias Biológicas, IPN. Carpio y Plan de Ayala Sto Tomas, 11340 DF, Mexico, Mexico.


Different preparations of chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) are used to treat various diseases, including inflammation and cancer; however, no studies on the plant's antigenotoxic capacity have been made. The aim of the present work was to determine the inhibitory effect of the chamomile essential oil (CO), on the sister chromatid exchanges (SCEs) produced by daunorubicin and methyl methanesulfonate (MMS) in mouse bone marrow cells. CO was analyzed and was found to contain 13 compounds, mainly bisabolol and its oxides, chamazulene, farnesene, germacrene and other sesquiterpenes. Initially, a toxic and a genotoxic analysis of CO were made; both showed negative results. To determine whether CO can inhibit the mutagenic effects induced by daunorubicin, one group of mice was administered corn oil, another group was treated with the mutagen (10 mg/kg), a third group was treated with 500 mg/kg of CO; three other groups were treated first with CO (5, 50 and 500 mg/kg) and then with 10 mg/kg of daunorubicin. In the case of MMS, the experimental groups consisted of the following: the negative control group which was administered corn oil, a group treated with 25 mg/kg of MMS, a group treated with 1000 mg/kg of CO, and three groups treated first with CO (250, 500 and 1000 mg/kg) and then with MMS (25 mg/kg). The results indicated a dose-dependent inhibitory effect on the SCEs formed by both mutagens. In the case of daunorubicin, a statistically significant result was observed in the three tested doses: from the lowest to the highest dose, the inhibitory values corresponded to 25.7, 63.1 and 75.5%. No alterations were found with respect to the cellular proliferation kinetics, but a reduction in the mitotic index was detected. As regards MMS, the inhibitory values were 24.8, 45.8 and 60.6%; no alterations were found in either the cellular proliferation kinetics or in the mitotic indices. Our results suggest that CO may be an effective antimutagen that could be considered for further study.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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