This work has evaluated the clastogenicity of six extracts (tea and aqueous extract of leaves, tea, aqueous and methanolic extracts of dried fruit, and tea of unripe fruit) obtained from Crotalaria retusa L. and three extracts (tea and methanolic extract of dried fruit, and tea of unripe fruit) obtained from Crotalaria mucronata Desv. The extracts were injected intraperitoneally into mice, and the animals were killed 24 h after treatment for preparation of bone marrow cells. The extracts obtained from fruits of Crotalaria retusa were found to cause a dose-dependent increase in the frequency of chromosomal aberrations in mice. On the other hand, no statistically significant increase in the frequency of aberrant cells was observed for the animals treated with leaf extracts obtained from Crotalaria retusa and with extracts from fruits of Crotalaria mucronata. The possibility that the pyrrolizidine alkaloid, monocrotaline, present in Crotalaria retusa exerts a clastogenic effect on mouse bone marrow cells is discussed. Our conclusion is based on studies using intraperitoneal treatments. Effects of oral exposure to extracts of Crotalaria retusa are unknown. © 1993.
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