Effects of Viscum album L. extract and quercetin on methotrexate-induced cyto-genotoxicity in mouse bone-marrow cells

Mutat Res. 2012 Jul 4;746(1):56-9. doi: 10.1016/j.mrgentox.2012.02.012. Epub 2012 Mar 20.


Viscum album, a semi-parasitic plant, has been used both in traditional and supplementary medicine in the treatment of many diseases. Quercetin (QE), one of the major flavonoids in some fruits and vegetables, has anti-oxidative and anti-carcinogenic activities. Methotrexate (MTX), an anti-folate anti-metabolite, is a widely used anti-neoplastic drug with significant clastogenic effects. The aim of this study was to investigate the anti-cytogenotoxic effects of pre-treatment with V. album extract (VAE) and QE on MTX-induced chromosomal aberrations (CAs) in mouse bone-marrow cells. Pre-treatment of mice by gavage with VAE (250mg/kgbw/day for 10 days) and QE (50mg/kgbw/day for 10 days) caused a significant decrease in CAs and in the number of aberrant cells with CAs induced by intramuscular treatment of the mice with MTX (10mg/kgbw/day for 3 days), when compared with the group treated with MTX alone. These compounds also significantly increased the mitotic index (MI) in bone-marrow cells that had been suppressed by MTX. In conclusion, from the findings we suggest that VAE and QE may play a role in reducing cyto-genotoxicity induced by anti-neoplastic drugs during cancer chemotherapy.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antimutagenic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / toxicity*
  • Bone Marrow Cells / drug effects*
  • DNA Damage / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Methotrexate / toxicity*
  • Mice
  • Mitotic Index
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Quercetin / pharmacology*
  • Viscum album / chemistry*


  • Antimutagenic Agents
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Quercetin
  • Methotrexate