Toxicity of Jatropha curcas L. latex in Allium cepa test = Toxicidade do látex de Jatropha curcas L. no modelo de Allium cepa

Angelina Luzia Ciappina, Fabrício Alves Ferreira, Illana Reis Pereira, Tiago Rodrigues Sousa, Fábio Santos Matos, Paulo Roberto Melo Reis, Pablo José Gonçalves, Elisa Flávia Luiz Cardoso Bailão, Luciane Madureira Almeida


The latex obtained from Jatropha curcas (physic nut) is used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of disturbs, including burns, hemorrhoids, ringworm and ulcers. Phytochemical analyses have shown that J. curcas latex contains natural compounds with therapeutic potential. In this study, the toxicity, cytotoxicity and genotoxicity effects of J. curcas latex on the root cells of Allium cepa were examined. Onion seeds and bulbs were exposed to seven different concentrations of latex and then the roots were submitted to macro and microscopic analyses. Water and sodium azide were used as negative and positive controls, respectively. The analysis of root growth showed that J. curcas crude latex or 50% diluted is highly toxic. Cytogenetic results showed that the mitotic index of the onion roots submitted to latex treatment decreased significantly compared to the negative control, which suggests that the latex is cytotoxic. High incidence of chromosome aberrations in the cells treated with J. curcas latex was observed too, indicating that the latex also presents genotoxic effect. The analyses presented in this report suggest the toxic, cytotoxic and genotoxic effects of J. curcas latex. Then, the indiscriminate use of J. curcas latex in folk medicine could bring risk to human health.


antiproliferative effect, genotoxicity, medicinal plants and physic nut.

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