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Genotoxicity study of bojungchisup-tang, an oriental herbal decoction-in vitro chromosome aberration assay in Chinese hamster lung cells andin vivo supravital-staining micronucleus assay with mouse peripheral reticulocytes


The toxicity evaluation of oriental herbal drugs is of great concern at present. Bojungchisuptang (BCST, in Korean), a decocted medicine of oriental herbal mixture, is now well used in clinic at oriental hospitals for the treatment of edema of several diseases in practice. However, the toxicity of the oriental herbal decocted medicines such as genetic toxicity is not well defined until now. In this respect, to clarify the genetic toxicity of BCST,in vitro chromosome aberration assay with Chinese hamster lung (CHL) fibroblasts andin vivo supravital micronucleus assay with mouse peripheral reticulocytes were performed in this study. In the chromosome aberration assay, we used 5,000 μg/ml BCST as maximum concentration because no remarkable cytotoxicity in CHL cells was observed both in the presence and absence of S-9 metabolic activation system. No statistical significant differences of chromosome aberrations were observed in CHL cells treated with 5,000, 2,500 and 1,250 μg/ml BCST for 6 hour both in the presence and absence of S-9 metabolic activation. However, very weak positive result (6.5∼8.0% aberration) of BCST was obtained in the absence of S-9 metabolic activation system at 5,000 μg/ml BCST when treated for 24 hour, i.e. 1.5 normal cell cycle time. And also,in vivo clastogenicity of BCST was studied by acridine orange-supravital staining micronucleus assay using mouse peripheral reticulocytes. We used 2,000 mg/kg as the highest oral dose in this micronucleus assay because no acute oral toxicity of BCST was observed in mice. The optimum induction time of micronucleated reticulocytes (MNRETs) was determined as 36 hours after oral administration of 2,000 mg/kg BCST. No significant differences of MNRETs between control and BCST treatment groups were observedin vivo micronucleus assay. From these results, BCST revealed very weak positive result in chromosome aberration assayin vitro with CHL cells and no clastogenicity in micronucleus assayin vivo.

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Correspondence to Jae-Chun Ryu.

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Ryu, J., Kim, K., Kim, H. et al. Genotoxicity study of bojungchisup-tang, an oriental herbal decoction-in vitro chromosome aberration assay in Chinese hamster lung cells andin vivo supravital-staining micronucleus assay with mouse peripheral reticulocytes. Arch. Pharm. Res. 21, 391–397 (1998).

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Key words

  • Genotoxicity
  • Clastogenicity
  • Bojungchisup-tang
  • Herbal Decoction
  • Chromosome Aberration
  • Chinese hamster lung fibroblast
  • Micronucleus
  • Mouse peripheral reticulocyte