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Toxicol Res. 2014 Jun;30(2):131-8. doi: 10.5487/TR.2014.30.2.131.

Genotoxicity Study of Polysaccharide Fraction from Astragalus membranaceus's Aerial Parts.

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GLP Center and Dept. of Medicinal Life Science, Catholic University of Daegu, Keongsan, Korea.
Department of Applied Plant Sciences, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, Korea.
Department of Applied Bioscience, Konkuk University, Seoul, Korea.
Division of Life Sciences, Incheon National University, Incheon, Korea.
Department of Herbal Medicine Resource, Kangwon National University, Samcheok, Korea.


Radix Astragali, the root of Astragalus (A.) membranaceus, has been applied in a variety of diseases for a long time in Asian countries such as Korea and China. In addition, the aerial parts such as leaves and stems of A. membranaceus have received a great deal of attention. Recently, the polysaccharide fraction showing a potent immunomoduating activity was isolated from the aerial parts of A. membranaceus. Thus, the aerial parts of A. membranaceus would be worthy enough for a food material and a dietary supplement. However, they should be safe even though valuable. In our previous study, it was estimated that NOAEL for female rats are 5000 mg/kg/day of the crude polysaccharide fraction from A. membranaceus-aboveground parts. As a series of safety evaluation, genotoxicity test for the crude polysaccharide fraction was carried out in this study. In conclusion, the three genotoxicity assays provided strong overall support that the crude polysaccharide fraction lacks mutagenic and/or clastogenic potential under the GLP-based test conditions. This indicates the aerial parts of A. membranaceus would be safe enough for a food material and a dietary supplement.


Aerial parts; Astragalus membranaceus; Genotoxicity test; Polysaccharide

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