AIM OF THE STUDY: To assess the in vitro mutagenicity and in vivo genotoxicity of aqueous extract of V. officinalis leaves using a modified Ames test and rat bone marrow micronucleus assay according to OECD guidelines.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: In vitro Ames test was carried out using different strains of Salmonella (TA97a, TA98, TA100, and TA1535) and Escherichia coli WP2 uvrA (pKM101) in the presence or absence of metabolic activation (S9 mixture). For micronucleus experiment, male and female Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 6/group) were received a single oral daily dose of 500, 1000, and 2000 mg/kg of V. officinalis extract for three days. Negative and positive control rats were received distilled water or a single intraperitoneal injection of 50 mg/kg of cyclophosphamide, respectively. Following dissection, femurs were collected and bone marrow cells were stained with May-Grünwald-Giemsa solution for micronucleus assessment.
RESULTS: Ames test results demonstrated that 5, 2.5, 1.25 and 0.625 mg/ml of V. officinalis extract induced a significant mutagenic effect against TA100 and TA98 strains (with and without metabolic activation). Findings of the animal study showed there were no significant increase in the micronucleated polychromatic erythrocytes (MNPE) and no significant alterations in the polychromatic erythrocytes (PCE) to normochromatic erythrocytes (NCE) ratio of treated rats as compared with their negative control. Meanwhile, significantly increased in the MNPEs was seen in the cyclophosphamide-treated group only.
CONCLUSION: Aqueous extract of V. officinalis has mutagenic effect against TA98 and TA100 strains as demonstrated by Ames test, however, there is no in vivo clastogenic and myelotoxic effect on bone marrow micronucleus of rats indicating that the benefits of using V. officinalis in traditional practice should outweigh risks.