Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry

, Volume 424, Issue 1–2, pp 35–43 | Cite as

Lymphocyte genotoxicity and protective effect of Calyptranthes tricona (Myrtaceae) against H2O2-induced cell death in MCF-7 cells

  • Débora Mara Kich
  • Shanna Bitencourt
  • Bruna Caye
  • Dalana Faleiro
  • Celso Alves
  • Joana Silva
  • Susete Pinteus
  • Michelle Mergener
  • Fernanda Majolo
  • Aline Augusti Boligon
  • Roberto Christ Vianna Santos
  • Rui Pedrosa
  • Claucia Fernanda Volken de Souza
  • Márcia Inês Goettert


Calyptranthes tricona is a species (Myrtaceae) native to South Brazil. Plants belonging to this family are folkloric used for analgesia, inflammation, and infectious diseases. However, little is known about the toxic potential of C. tricona. The present study aimed to evaluate the antioxidant activity of C. tricona ethanol and hexane leaf extracts, as well as verify their effect on human lymphocytes and MCF-7 cells. The extracts were subjected to preliminary phytochemical screening, antioxidant activity using DPPH and ORAC methods. Genotoxic and mutagenic effects in cultured human lymphocytes were assessed using the comet assay and the micronucleus assay, respectively. In addition, cell viability by MTT assay and fluorometric analysis of mitochondrial potential and caspases-9 activity were performed in order to verify the possible effects of both extracts on H2O2-induced cell death of MCF-7 cells. Our findings revealed that the phenol content and the antioxidant activity were only present in the ethanol extract. Also, the phytochemical screening presented steroids, triterpenoids, condensed tannins, and flavones as the main compounds. However, both extracts were capable of inducing concentration-dependent DNA damage in human lymphocytes. When treating MCF-7 cells with the extracts, both of them inhibited MCF-7 cell death in response to oxidative stress through a decrease of mitochondrial depolarization and caspases-9 activity. Thus, our results need to be considered in future in vitro and in vivo studies of C. tricona effects. In the meanwhile, we recommend caution in the acute/chronic use of this homemade preparation for medicinal purpose.


Calyptranthes tricona Genotoxicity Human lymphocytes, MCF-7, cytoprotection 



We thank Ms. Andréa Horst from the Physiology Department of Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) and Dr. Adriane Pozzobon from Centro Universitário UNIVATES for technical assistance. This work was supported by Centro Universitário UNIVATES and the National Counsel of Technological and Scientific Development (CNPq). DMK, DF, and SB are the recipients of Master grants and a postdoctoral grant from Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (Capes), respectively.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Débora Mara Kich
    • 1
  • Shanna Bitencourt
    • 1
  • Bruna Caye
    • 1
  • Dalana Faleiro
    • 1
  • Celso Alves
    • 2
  • Joana Silva
    • 2
  • Susete Pinteus
    • 2
  • Michelle Mergener
    • 3
  • Fernanda Majolo
    • 4
  • Aline Augusti Boligon
    • 5
  • Roberto Christ Vianna Santos
    • 6
  • Rui Pedrosa
    • 2
  • Claucia Fernanda Volken de Souza
    • 7
  • Márcia Inês Goettert
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratório de Cultura de Células, Programa de Pós-graduação em BiotecnologiaCentro Universitário UNIVATESLajeadoBrazil
  2. 2.Marine Resources Research Group (GIRM)ESTM, Polytechnic Institute of LeiriaPenichePortugal
  3. 3.Centro Universitário UNIVATESLajeadoBrazil
  4. 4.Laboratório Celular e Molecular. Faculdade de MedicinaPontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS)Porto AlegreBrazil
  5. 5.Department of Industrial Pharmacy, Phytochemical Research LaboratoryFederal University of Santa MariaSanta MariaBrazil
  6. 6.Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, Oral Microbiology Research LaboratoryFederal University of Santa MariaSanta MariaBrazil
  7. 7.Laboratório de Biotecnologia de Alimentos, Programa de Pós-graduação em BiotecnologiaCentro Universitário UNIVATESRSLajeadoBrazil

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