Medicinal plants are rich sources of bioactive compounds with potential for therapeutic, cosmetic and food use, and the species Pereskia grandifolia is widely used by low-income populations for nutritional and medicinal purposes. The objective of this study was to evaluate the pharmaco-toxic potential of the aqueous extract from P. grandifolia leaves, in order to obtain information on the safety of its use. P. grandifolia leaves were dried, ground and the obtained flour was subjected to decoction at a 1:25 (wv-1) ratio. The extract was then centrifuged and the supernatant was collected and lyophilized. The genotoxic potential on human leukocytes (comet assay) was evaluated, as well as phospholipase, hemolytic, coagulant and fibrinogenolytic activities, besides potential interactions with isolated hyaluronidases (evaluated in polyacrylamide gel). The evaluated doses of the aqueous extract from P. grandifolia leaves did not induce damage to the genetic material of human leukocytes, phospholipase, coagulant and fibrinogenolytic activities, nor altered the electrophoretic migration profile of hyaluronidases in polyacrylamide gel. However, the extract induced in vitro hemolysis, in doses higher than 10 µg. Therefore, it is premature to recommend the use of this plant for therapeutic purposes regarding possible risks and benefits to human health and additional studies of toxicity, efficacy and safety are necessary, especially using in vivo assays.
Key words: Pereskia grandifolia, genotoxicity, hemolysis, coagulation, molecular interactions.
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