Acute and Chronic Toxicity of an Aqueous Fraction of the Stem Bark of Stryphnodendron adstringens (Barbatimão) in Rodents
Stryphnodendron adstringens (Mart.) Coville, a medicinal plant that grows in the "cerrados" (a savanna ecosystem) of Brazil, popularly known as "Barbatimão," is an important source of tannins (polyphenols). In Brazil, it is used in industry (mainly as vegetable tanning) and also in traditional medicine for the treatment of various diseases. In the present study, a phytotherapeutic extract from S. adstringens stem bark was evaluated for mutagenic and recombinagenic effects using the wing spot test of Drosophila melanogaster (somatic mutation and recombination test, SMART), and for chromosome damage in germ cells using the Drosophila sex-chromosome loss test (ring-X loss). For SMART, the standard as well as the high bioactivation fly crosses were used; the latter cross is characterized by a high sensitivity to promutagens and procarcinogens. Third-instar larvae from these two crosses were treated for 48 hr with different concentrations (66%, 75%, and 100%) of the phytotherapeutic extract. The wings of the emerging adults were analyzed for the occurrence of different types of mutant spots. No statistically significant differences in spot frequencies between controls and treated series were observed. For the ring-X loss test, adult males were fed with the same concentrations of the extract as in the wing spot test. No statistically significant increases in ring-X losses were observed. The results of our experiments suggest that the phytotherapeutic extract from S. adstringens stem bark is not genotoxic in somatic and germ cells of D. melanogaster.