Potential genotoxicity of plant extracts used in Ethiopian traditional medicine
Review articleOpen access

AbstractAim of the studyAlthough traditional herbal medicines are widely used in Ethiopia, no information is available on their potential genotoxicity. In the present study, hydroalcoholic extracts of Glinus lotoides, Plumbago zeylanica, Rumex steudelii and Thymus schimperi were evaluated for their DNA damaging effects using the comet assay.Material and methodsMouse lymphoma L5178Y cells were exposed to different concentrations of the extracts for 3 h with and without metabolic activation (S9-mix) using 4-nitroquinoline-N-oxide and benzo(a)pyrene as positive controls, and vehicles as negative controls.ResultsIn the absence of S9, all extracts were found to induce significant DNA damage without affecting the cell viability. T. schimperi and R. steudelii were the most potent DNA-damaging extracts, and G. lotoides and P. zeylanica the least potent. The addition of S9 had different effects on the DNA damage induced by the extracts: it lowered the DNA damaging effect of P. zeylanica, did not affect the DNA damaging effect of T. schimperi, and increased the DNA damaging effects of R. steudelii and G. lotoides.ConclusionThe findings of the present study suggest that all extracts evaluated have a genotoxic potential in vitro which needs to be substantiated by further studies.

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