Anticlastogenic effect of flavonoids against mutagen-induced micronuclei in mice

Mutat Res. 1992 Dec 16;284(2):243-9. doi: 10.1016/0027-5107(92)90008-p.


14 flavonoids, including flavone and flavonol derivatives, were tested for their anticlastogenic effect against induction of micronuclei by benzo[a]pyrene in polychromatic erythrocytes of mice. When each flavonoid was administered orally, together with intraperitoneally administered benzo[a]pyrene, most flavonol derivatives showed an anticlastogenic effect. The data suggest that the 2,3-double bond and 3,5,7-hydroxyl groups in the flavonoid molecules may be essential to produce anticlastogenic effects against benzo[a]pyrene. Galangin, one of the active compounds, and (-)-epicatechin, a weak one, were administered to mice in order to compare their anticlastogenic effect against 3 different kinds of carcinogens: ethyl methanesulfonate, 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene, and adriamycin. Galangin showed a stronger anticlastogenic effect than (-)-epicatechin against ethyl methanesulfonate and 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene. However, there was no significant effect against adriamycin-induced micronuclei by both compounds. Our study indicates that most flavonoids are anticlastogenic agents. Their anticlastogenic effects are apparently independent of their own clastogenic activities. Furthermore, their anticlastogenic activities do not apply universally to all types of genotoxic chemicals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Benzo(a)pyrene / pharmacology*
  • DNA Damage / drug effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Antagonism
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Micronuclei, Chromosome-Defective / drug effects*
  • Micronucleus Tests
  • Time Factors


  • Flavonoids
  • Benzo(a)pyrene