Croton lechleri Müll. Arg. (Euphorbiaceae) stem bark essential oil as possible mutagen-protective food ingredient against heterocyclic amines from cooked food

Food Chem. 2013 Aug 15;139(1-4):439-47. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2013.01.076. Epub 2013 Feb 7.


The Amazonian Croton lechleri stem bark essential oil was tested for its anti-mutagenic potential by performing the Ames test against heterocyclic amines (HCAs), in continuing research on applicative functional profile of this phytocomplex as food ingredient (Rossi et al., 2011). Salmonella typhimurium strain TA98 was used with and without metabolic activation (S9 mix). The anti-mutagenic properties was assayed with the following HCAs: 2-amino-3-methylimidazo-[4,5-f]quinoline (IQ), 2-amino-3,4-dimethylimidazo-[4,5-f]quinoline (MeIQ), 2-amino-3,8-dimethylimidazo-[4,5-f]quinoxaline (MeIQx), the imidazoles 2-amino-6-methyldipyrido-[1,2-a:3',2'-d]imidazole (Glu-P-1) and 2-aminodipirydo-[1,2-a:3',2'-d]imidazole (Glu-P-2). All HCAs with S9 induced mutagenicity at 10(-10) mol/plate. Without S9, IQ and MeIQ showed mutagenicity at 10(-8) mol/plate, MeIQx and Glu-P-1 at 10(-5) mol/plate, while Glu-P-2 was inactive. In presence of HACs (10(-9) mol/plate), C. lechleri essential oil was tested for mutagen-protective properties (concentration range: 0.01-0.10 mg/plate) taking the Highest Uneffective Dose (HUD) as threshold reference. With S9 mix, C. lechleri essential oil displayed a significant reduction of revertants at 0.05 mg/plate, from 21% to 34%. The essential oil showed mutagen-protective efficacy against IQ and MeIQ tested as direct mutagens (10(-7) mol/plate), with a revertants percentage reduction of 39% and 40%, respectively. No anti-mutagen capacity was noted for MeIQx and Glu-P-1 (10(-5) mol/plate). Since HACs are known as possible colon and liver cancer inducers, C. lechleri essential oil was tested for its cytotoxicity and anti-proliferative capacity against LoVo and HepG2 cancer cell lines showing IC50 of 74.95±0.05 μg/ml (LoVo) and 82.28±0.03 μg/ml (HepG2), displaying a promising role of this essential oil as a functional food ingredient with interesting mutagen preventing properties.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amines / chemistry
  • Amines / toxicity*
  • Antimutagenic Agents / analysis
  • Antimutagenic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cooking
  • Euphorbiaceae / chemistry*
  • Food Additives / analysis
  • Food Additives / pharmacology*
  • Food Analysis
  • Humans
  • Molecular Structure
  • Mutagens / chemistry
  • Mutagens / toxicity
  • Oils, Volatile / analysis
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology*
  • Plant Bark / chemistry*
  • Plant Oils / analysis
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology*
  • Salmonella typhimurium / drug effects
  • Salmonella typhimurium / genetics


  • Amines
  • Antimutagenic Agents
  • Food Additives
  • Mutagens
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Oils