In vitro risk assessment of usnic acid

Polat Z., Aydin E., Turkez H., Aslan A.

TOXICOLOGY AND INDUSTRIAL HEALTH, vol.32, no.3, pp.468-475, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 32 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/0748233713504811
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.468-475
  • Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Affiliated: No


Lichens are symbiotic organisms composed of fungi and algae and are very common in Turkey. Lichen secondary metabolites are mainly phenolic compounds produced by fungal partner of lichen symbiosis. Usnic acid (UA) is one of the most common lichen metabolites, and it was reported that to be effective for a wide range of pharmacological purposes including antiviral, antitumor, and antiprotozoal. However, there are limited data on the genotoxic and antioxidant effects of UA in cultured human peripheral blood cells. Therefore, the aim of this thesis study was to investigate the genetic and oxidative effects of UA in cultured human blood cells (n = 5). The UA was added into culture tubes at various concentrations (0-200 g/ml). Chromosomal aberrations (CA) and micronuclei (MN) tests were performed for genotoxic damage influences estimation. In addition, biochemical parameters (total antioxidant capacity (TAC) and total oxidative status (TOS)) were examined to determine oxidative effects. In our in vitro test systems, it was observed that UA had no mutagenic effects on human lymphocytes. Furthermore, our results indicated that low concentrations (1 and 5 g/ml) of UA caused increases of TAC levels in cultured human blood cells. And, the TOS levels were not changed (p > 0.05) when all the concentrations (except for 200 g/ml) of UA were applied. In conclusion, UA can be a new resource of therapeutics as recognized in this study with their nonmutagenic and antioxidant features.