Evaluation of toxic, cytotoxic and genotoxic effects of phytol and its nanoemulsion

Chemosphere. 2017 Jun;177:93-101. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2017.02.145. Epub 2017 Mar 3.


Phytol (PYT) is a diterpenoid having important biological activity. However, it is a water non-soluble compound. This study aims to prepare PYT nanoemulsion (PNE) and evaluation of toxic, cytotoxic and genotoxic activities of PYT and PNE. For this, the PNE was prepared by the phase inversion method. The cytotoxicity test was performed in Artemia salina, while toxicity, cytotoxicity and genotoxicity in Allium cepa at concentrations of 2, 4, 8 and 16 mM. Potassium dichromate and copper sulfate were used as positive controls for the tests of A. salina and A. cepa, respectively. In addition, an adaptation response was detected in A. cepa by using the comet assay. The results suggest that both PYT and PNE exhibited toxic and cytotoxic effects at 4-16 mM in either test system, while genotoxicity at 2-16 mM in A. cepa. PNE exhibited more toxic, cytotoxic and genotoxic effects at 8 and 16 mM than the PYT. However, both PYT and PNE at 2 and 4 mM decreased the index and frequency of damage in A. cepa after 48 and 72 h, suggesting a possible adaptation response or DNA damage preventing capacity. Nanoemulsified PYT (PNE) may readily cross the biological membranes with an increase in bioavailability and produce more toxic, cytotoxic and genotoxic effects in the used test systems.

Keywords: Adaptive response; Phytol nanoemulsion; Toxicogenetic effect.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Artemia / drug effects
  • Artemia / growth & development*
  • Comet Assay
  • DNA Damage / drug effects*
  • Emulsions / chemistry
  • Emulsions / toxicity
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry
  • Nanoparticles / toxicity*
  • Onions / cytology*
  • Onions / drug effects
  • Phytol / toxicity*


  • Emulsions
  • Phytol