Evaluation of the mutagenic, antimutagenic and antiproliferative potential of Croton lechleri (Muell. Arg.) latex

Phytomedicine. 2003 Mar;10(2-3):139-44. doi: 10.1078/094471103321659843.


Sangre de Drago is a red viscous latex extracted from Croton lechleri (Euphorbiaceae) cortex, renowned in South American popular medicine for its wound-healing properties. The in vitro antiproliferative effects were determined on the human myelogenous leukemia K562 cells line (IC50 = 2.5 +/- 0.3 microg ml(-1)). The mutagenic and antimutagenic activity of C. lechleri sap was examined by means of the Ames/Salmonella test. No mutagenic activity was found on the Salmonella typhimurium strains T98 and T100, either with or without S9 activation. On the other hand, the sap showed an inhibitory effect against the mutagenic activity of the indirectly acting mutagen 2-Aminoanthracene in presence of S9 and a moderate protective activity against directly acting mutagens Sodium Azide and 2-Nitrofluorene. Therefore we suggest that C. lechleri sap interacts with the enzymes of the S9 mix, thereby inhibiting the transformation of 2-Aminoantracene into its active forms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anthracenes / pharmacology
  • Antimutagenic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology*
  • Croton*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Humans
  • K562 Cells / drug effects
  • Latex / pharmacology*
  • Latex / toxicity
  • Mutagens / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / toxicity
  • Salmonella typhimurium / drug effects


  • Anthracenes
  • Antimutagenic Agents
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Latex
  • Mutagens
  • Plant Extracts
  • 2-anthramine