TOXICOLOGY AND INDUSTRIAL HEALTH, vol.28, no.6, pp.492-498, 2012 (SCI-Expanded)
Imazalil (IMA), a commonly used fungicide in both agricultural and clinical domains, is suspected to produce very serious toxic effects on vertebrates. On the other hand, in recent years, a number of studies have suggested that lichens might be easily accessible sources of natural drugs that could be used as a possible food supplement. Extensive research is being carried out to explore the importance of lichen species, which are known to contain a variety of pharmacological active compounds. In this context, the anti-enotoxic effects of aqueous Peltigera rufescens (Weis) Humb. extracts (PREs) were studied against the genotoxic damage induced by IMA on cultured human lymphocytes using chromosomal aberrations (CAs) and micronucleus (MN) as cytogenetic parameters. Human peripheral lymphocytes were treated in vitro with varying concentrations of PREs (0, 5, 10, 25, 50 and 100 mg/L), tested in combination with IMA (336 mg/L). PREs alone were not genotoxic and when combined with IMA treatment, reduced the frequency of CAs and the rates of MNs. A clear dose-dependent decrease in the genotoxic damage of IMA was observed, suggesting a genoprotective role of P. rufescens extract. The results of the present study indicate that this plant extract per se do not have genotoxic potential but can minimize the genotoxicity of IMA on human lymphocytes in vitro. In conclusion our findings may have an important application for the protection of human lymphocyte from the genetic damage and side effects induced by agricultural and medical chemicals hazardous in people.