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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017, Article ID 5948936, 7 pages
Research Article

Teratogenic Effect of Usnic Acid from Cladonia substellata Vainio during Organogenesis

1Laboratory of Chemistry of Natural Products, Department of Biochemistry, UFPE, Recife, PE, Brazil
2Department of Morphology and Animal Physiology, UFRPE, Recife, PE, Brazil
3Laboratory Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals, Academic Center Academic of Vitória, UFPE, Recife, PE, Brazil
4Department of Geographical Sciences, UFPE, Recife, PE, Brazil

Correspondence should be addressed to E. C. Pereira; moc.liamg@sirallicitrev

Received 30 September 2016; Revised 6 January 2017; Accepted 18 January 2017; Published 27 February 2017

Academic Editor: Paul M. Tulkens

Copyright © 2017 C. R. 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.


Studies about toxicological potential of usnic acid are limited. This way, the vast majority of data available in the literature are related only to biological activities. This is the first study that aimed to evaluate the oral toxicity of usnic acid during the period of organogenesis. Females rats were distributed in the control groups, treated I and II, at doses of 15 and 25 mg/kg, administered by gavage during the 6° to 15° days of pregnancy. After 20 days the fetuses were removed and analyzed. A reduction in weight gain during pregnancy, increased resorption, reduction in the number of viable fetuses, and their body weight were observed. Morphological changes in the litter were visualized as exposure of the eye and atrophy of the limbs at the dose of 25 mg/kg. Histological analysis of the liver of the fetus showed reduction in the number of megakaryocytes between experimental groups and increase in the number of hepatocytes in a dose of 25 mg/kg. The experimental model used in this study reveals teratogenic effect of usnic acid in the period of organogenesis. Since this achievement, the importance of evaluating the toxic effects of natural substances is imperative, in order to elucidate the care in their indication as drug.