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Print version ISSN 0327-9545


DAL-SOUTO FRESCURA, Viviane et al. Post-treatment with plant extracts used in Brazilian folk medicine caused a partial reversal of the antiproliferative effect of glyphosate in the Allium cepa test. Biocell [online]. 2013, vol.37, n.2, pp.23-28. ISSN 0327-9545.

Species of the genus Psychotria are used for multiple purposes in Brazilian folk medicine, either as water infusions, baths or poultices. This study was aimed to evaluate the genotoxic and antiproliferative effects of infusions of Psychotria brachypoda and P. birotula on the Allium cepa test. Exposure to distilled water was used as a negative control, while exposure to glyphosate was used as a positive control. The interaction of extracts (as a post-treatment) with the effects of glyphosate was also studied. Results showed that glyphosate and the extracts of both P. brachypoda and P. birotula reduced the mitotic index as compared with the negative control (distilled water). Surprisingly, however, both extracts from P. brachypoda and P. birotula caused a partial reversal of the antiproliferative effect of glyphosate when used as a post-treatment. Glyphosate also induced the highest number of cells with chromosomal alterations, which was followed by that of P. birotula extracts. However, the extracts from P. brachypoda did not show any significant genotoxic effect. Post-treatment of glyphosate-treated samples with distilled water allowed a partial recovery of the genotoxic effect of glyphosate, and some of the Psychotria extracts also did so. Notably, post-treatment of glyphosate-treated samples with P. brachypoda extracts induced a statistically significant apoptotic effect. It is concluded that P. brachypoda extracts show antiproliferative effects and are not genotoxic, while extracts of P. birotula show a less potent antiproliferative effect and may induce chromosomal abnormalities. The finding of a partial reversion of the effects of glyphosate by a post-treatment with extracts from both plants should be followed up.

Keywords : Medicinal plants; Psychotria brachypoda; Psychotria birotula; Cell proliferation; Apoptosis.

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