Author(s): Bakkali F, Averbeck S, Averbeck D, Zhiri A, Baudoux D,
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Abstract Essential oils (EOs) extracted from medicinal plants such as Origanum compactum, Artemisia herba alba and Cinnamomum camphora are known for their beneficial effects in humans. The present study was undertaken to investigate their possible antigenotoxic effects in an eukaryotic cell system, the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The EOs alone showed some cytotoxicity and cytoplasmic petite mutations, i.e. mitochondrial damage, but they were unable to induce nuclear genetic events. In combination with exposures to nuclear mutagens such as 254-nm UVC radiation, 8-methoxypsoralen (8-MOP) plus UVA radiation and methylmethane sulfonate (MMS), treatments with these EOs produced a striking increase in the amount of cytoplasmic petite mutations but caused a significant reduction in revertants and mitotic gene convertants induced among survivors of the diploid tester strain D7. In a corresponding rho0 strain, the level of nuclear genetic events induced by the nuclear mutagens UVC and 8-MOP plus UVA resulted in the same reduced level as the combined treatments with the EOs. This clearly suggests a close relationship between the enhancement of cytoplasmic petites (mitochondrial damage) in the presence of the EOs and the reduction of nuclear genetic events induced by UVC or 8-MOP plus UVA. After MMS plus EO treatment, induction of these latter events was comparable at least per surviving fraction in wildtype and rho0 cells, and apparently less dependent on cytoplasmic petite induction. Combined treatments with MMS and EOs clearly triggered switching towards late apoptosis/necrosis indicating an involvement of this phenomenon in EO-induced cell killing and concomitant decreases in nuclear genetic events. After UVC and 8-MOP plus UVA plus EO treatments, little apoptosis and necrosis were observed. The antigenotoxic effects of the EOs appeared to be predominantly linked to the induction of mitochondrial dysfunction.
This article was published in Mutat Res
and referenced in Medicinal & Aromatic Plants