• Baccharis dracunculifolia;
  • V79 cells;
  • Comet assay;
  • genotoxicity;
  • antigenotoxicity


Baccharis dracunculifolia (Asteraceae), the main botanical source of green propolis, is a shrub of the Brazilian ‘cerrado’. In folk medicine it is used as an anti-inflammatory agent, mainly for the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the genotoxic and antigenotoxic effects of B. dracunculifolia ethyl acetate extract (Bd-EAE) on Chinese hamster lung fibroblasts (V79 cells) by the comet assay. Methyl methanesulfonate (MMS; 200 μM) was used as an inducer of DNA damage. Genotoxicity was evaluated using four different concentrations of Bd-EAE: 12.5, 25.0, 50.0 and 100.0 μg ml−1. Antigenotoxicity was assessed before, simultaneously, and after treatment with the mutagen. The results showed a significant increase in the frequency of DNA damage in cultures treated with 50.0 and 100.0 μg ml−1 Bd-EAE. Regarding its antigenotoxic potential, Bd-EAE reduced the frequency of DNA damage induced by MMS. However, this chemopreventive activity depended on the concentrations and treatment regimens used. The antioxidant activity of phenolic components present in Bd-EAE may contribute to reduce the alkylation damage induced by MMS. In conclusion, our findings confirmed the chemopreventive activity of Bd-EAE and showed that this effect occurs under different mechanism. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.