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J Ethnopharmacol. 2003 Aug;87(2-3):241-6.

Screening of antimutagenicity via antioxidant activity in Cuban medicinal plants.

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Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo de Medicamentos, Avenue 26, No. 1605, Ciudad de La Habana, Nuevo Vedado, CP 10600, Cuba.


The reducing activity on the 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical, z.rad;OH radical scavenging potential, in vitro inhibition of lipid peroxidation and modulation of mutagenicity induced by ter-butyl hydroperoxide (TBH) in Escherichia coli were sequentially screened in 45 species of plants used with medicinal purposes in Cuba, in a search for antioxidant agents which protect DNA against oxidative stress.Five species, e.g. Tamarindus indica L., Lippia alba L., Pimenta dioica (L.) Merr, Rheedia aristata Griseb. and Curcuma longa L. displayed IC(50)<30 micro g/ml in the DPPH radical reduction assay and IC(50)<32 micro g/ml in lipid peroxidation inhibition testing. Pimenta dioica and Curcuma longa L. showed also a 20% inhibition of the in vitro induced z.rad;OH attack to deoxyglucose. Further antimutagenesis assay in Escherichia coli IC 188 evidenced that only Pimenta dioica prevents DNA damage by TBH to the test bacteria. A role of antioxidant enzymes is presumed in this case, as judged by a different response in the isogenic Escherichia coli IC 203 deficient in catalase and alkyl hydroperoxide reductase and the discrete inhibition of oxidative mutagenesis also observed when pre-treatment of the extract was assayed. Eugenol, the main constituent of the essential oil of Pimenta dioica, also inhibited oxidative mutagenesis by TBH in Escherichia coli, at concentrations ranging from 150 to 400 micro g/plate.

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