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Chem Biol Interact. 2008 Jul 10;174(1):1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.cbi.2008.04.006. Epub 2008 Jun 3.

Antioxidant activity and inhibition of aflatoxin B1-, nifuroxazide-, and sodium azide-induced mutagenicity by extracts from Rhamnus alaternus L.

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  • 1Unité de Pharmacognosie/Biologie Moléculaire 99/UR/07-03, Faculté de Pharmacie, Rue Avicenne, Monastir 5000, Tunisia.


The effect of extracts obtained from Rhamnus alaternus L. leaves on genotoxicity and SOS response induced by aflatoxin B(1) (10 microg/assay) as well as nifuroxazide (20 microg/assay) was investigated in a bacterial assay system, i.e., the SOS chromotest with Escherichia coli PQ37. The evaluation of the mutagenic and antimutagenic actions of the same extracts against the sodium azide (1.5 microg/plate)-induced mutagenicity was assayed using the Salmonella typhimurium assay system. The R. alaternus tested extracts exhibited no genotoxicity either with or without the external S9 activation mixture. However, all the extracts, particularly aqueous extract (A) and its chloroformic fraction (A(2)) significantly decreased the genotoxicity induced by aflatoxin B(1) and nifuroxazide. Moreover, the different extracts showed no mutagenicity when tested with Salmonella typhimurium strains TA1535 and TA1538 either with or without the S9 mix. Aqueous extract as well as its A(2) fraction exhibited the highest level of protection towards the direct mutagen, sodium azide-induced response in TA1535 strain with mutagenicity inhibition percentages of 83.6% and 91.4%, respectively, at a dose of 250 microg/plate. The results obtained by the Ames test assay confirm those of SOS chromotest. These same active extracts exhibited high xanthine oxidase (XOD) inhibiting with respective IC(50) values of 208 and 137 microg/ml, and superoxide anion-scavenging effects (IC(50) values of 132 and 117 microg/ml) when tested in the XOD enzymatic assay system. Our findings emphasize the potential of R. alaternus to prevent mutations and also its antioxidant effect.

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