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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2010, Article ID 197898, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2010/197898
Research Article

Genotoxic and Cytotoxic Safety Evaluation of Papain (Carica papaya L.) Using In Vitro Assays

1Laboratório de Análise de Toxicidade em Fitoterápicos, Departamento de Biofísica e Biometria, Instituto de Biologia Roberto Alcantara Gomes, UERJ, 20551-030 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
2Laboratório de Radio e Fotobiologia, Departamento de Biofísica e Biometria, Instituto de Biologia Roberto Alcantara Gomes, UERJ, 20551-030 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
3Laboratório de Radiobiologia Molecular, Instituto de Biofísica Carlos Chagas Filho, UFRJ, 21941-902 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
4Laboratório de Diagnóstico Molecular e Hematologia, Departamento de Análises Clínicas e Toxicológicas, Faculdade de Farmácia, UFRJ, 21941-902 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil

Received 23 November 2009; Revised 16 March 2010; Accepted 16 March 2010

Academic Editor: Michael Cunningham

Copyright © 2010 Claudia R. da Silva et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Papain, a phytotherapeutic agent, has been used in the treatment of eschars and as a debriding chemical agent to remove damaged or necrotic tissue of pressure ulcers and gangrene. Its benefits in these treatments are deemed effective, since more than 5000 patients, at the public university hospital at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, have undergone papain treatment and presented satisfactory results. Despite its extensive use, there is little information about toxic and mutagenic properties of papain. This work evaluated the toxic and mutagenic potential of papain and its potential antioxidant activity against induced- oxidative stress in Escherichia coli strains. Cytotoxicity assay, Growth inhibition test, WP2-Mutoxitest and Plasmid-DNA treatment, and agarose gel electrophoresis were used to investigate if papain would present any toxic or mutagenic potential as well as if papain would display antioxidant properties. Papain exhibited negative results for all tests. This agent presented an activity protecting cells against -induced mutagenesis.