Cytogenotoxic study of aqueous fruit extract of Morinda citrifolia in Wistar albino rats

  • Germano Pinho de Moraes
  • Marcus Vinícius Oliveira Barros de Alencar
  • Lidiane da Silva Araújo
  • Débora Cássia Vieira Gomes
  • Márcia Fernanda Correia Jardim Paz
  • Muhammad Torequl IslamEmail author
  • Ana Amélia de Carvalho Melo-Cavalcante
  • Jaqueline Nascimento Picada
Research Article


The use of herbal products and/or their derivatives as an alternative or complementary medicine becomes globally popular. To date, various biological activities have been reported in Morinda citrifolia Linn, especially antioxidants, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antitumor effects. This study aimed to investigate the genotoxicity and DNA repair capacity of the aqueous fruit extract of M. citrifolia (AEMC). Additionally, we checked the mutagenic capacity of AEMC by the comet assay and micronucleus tests in rats. For this, rats (n = 10; 5 males and 5 females) were divided into five groups as: negative control (distilled water); positive control (25 mg/kg of cyclophosphamide, i.p.); and three groups for AEMC (2.5, 5 and 10 mg/kg, i.p.). The results suggest that, the AEMC induced genotoxicity in white blood cells, but a DNA repair capacity was also observed after 72 h of AEMC exposure. AEMC also showed cytotoxicity and mutagenicity in liver and kidney cells of rats at 5 and 10 mg/kg doses. In conclusion, AEMC exhibited a dose-dependent cytotoxicity, genotoxicity and mutagenicity along with a time-dependent DNA repair capacity in rats. Further studies are necessary regarding the safe use of this medicinal plant for human consumption.


Morinda citrifolia Fruit extract Cytogenotoxicity DNA repair 



The authors wish to thank the Brazilian agencies Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) and Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Piauí (FAPEPI) for the financial support.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical statement

The protocols were approved by the Ethical Committee on Animal Research at NOVAFAPI (Process No. #0039/10) and are in accordance with the national (Colégio Brasileiro de Experimentação Animal—COBEA) and international standard for the care and use of experimental laboratory animals.

Conflict of interest

This manuscript described has not been published before; not under consideration for publication anywhere else; and has been approved by all co-authors.


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Copyright information

© Institute of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Germano Pinho de Moraes
    • 1
  • Marcus Vinícius Oliveira Barros de Alencar
    • 2
  • Lidiane da Silva Araújo
    • 3
  • Débora Cássia Vieira Gomes
    • 2
  • Márcia Fernanda Correia Jardim Paz
    • 2
  • Muhammad Torequl Islam
    • 4
    • 5
    Email author
  • Ana Amélia de Carvalho Melo-Cavalcante
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jaqueline Nascimento Picada
    • 1
  1. 1.Postgraduate Program in Genetic and Applied ToxicologyLutheran University of BrazilCanoasBrazil
  2. 2.Northeast Biotechnology Program (RENORBIO), Postgraduate Program in Pharmaceutical ScienceFederal University of PiauíTeresinaBrazil
  3. 3.Postgraduate Program in Pharmaceutical ScienceFederal University of PiauíTeresinaBrazil
  4. 4.Department for Management of Science and Technology DevelopmentTon Duc Thang UniversityHo Chi Minh CityVietnam
  5. 5.Faculty of PharmacyTon Duc Thang UniversityHo Chi Minh CityVietnam

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