Genotoxic and cytotoxic action potential of Terminalia citrina, a medicinal plant of ethnopharmacological significance

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Muhammad Furqan Akhtar
Ammara Saleem
Ali Sharif
Bushra Akhtar
Maaz Bin Nasim
Sohaib Peerzada
Moosa Raza
Hira Ijaz
Shoaib Ahmed
Maryam Shabbir
Sajid Ali
Zeeshan Akbar
Syed Saeed Ul Hassan


Most herbal medicines utilized in complementary and alternative medicine lack safety evaluation setting our lives under unwarranted risks. Present study comprised of genotoxic and cytotoxic appraisal of Terminalia citrina fruits which are used as a folklore medicine for treatment of various ailments. Aqueous and ethanolic extracts of T. citrina fruit extracts were evaluated for the presence of different phytochemicals. Genotoxic potential of both the extract of T. citrina was assessed through Ames reverse mutagenicity assay in Salmonella TA 100 and 102 strains. Cytotoxic potential of T. citrina was determined in baby hamster kidney cell line (BHK-21). Statistical analysis was carried out by ANOVA following post hoc test. Phytochemical analysis showed the presence of alkaloids, carbohydrates, phenolic compounds, tannins, catechins and saponins. It was revealed that both the extracts of T. citrina exhibited significant mutagenicity in tester strains. Ethanolic extract showed higher mutagenicity in TA 100 strain, whereas aqueous extract of T. citrina exhibited higher mutagenicity in TA 102 strain than TA 100. Both the extracts of T. citrina showed dose-dependent mutagenicity. Fifty percent cell viability was exhibited by 260 and 545 µg/mL of ethanolic and aqueous extracts respectively. This study concludes that the ethanolic and aqueous fruit extracts of T. citrina may not be safe owing to their mutagenic and cytotoxic potential and it necessitates further investigation regarding its safety evaluation.

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Akhtar, M. F., Saleem, A., Sharif, A., Akhtar, B., Nasim, M. B., Peerzada, S., Raza, M., Ijaz, H., Ahmed, S., Shabbir, M., Ali, S., Akbar, Z., & Ul Hassan, S. S. (2016). Genotoxic and cytotoxic action potential of Terminalia citrina, a medicinal plant of ethnopharmacological significance. EXCLI Journal, 15, 589-598.
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