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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 513978, 7 pages
Research Article

Evaluation of Toxicity and Antimicrobial Activity of an Ethanolic Extract from Leaves of Morus alba L. (Moraceae)

1Departamento de Bioquímica, Centro de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, 50670-420 Recife, PE, Brazil
2Laboratório de Farmacologia e Cancerologia Experimental, Departamento de Antibióticos, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, 50670-420 Recife, PE, Brazil
3Laboratório de Micologia, Departamento de Ciências Farmacêuticas, Centro de Ciências da Saúde, Universidade Federal da Paraíba, 58059-900 João Pessoa, PB, Brazil
4Departamento de Histologia e Embriologia, Centro de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, 50670-420 Recife, PE, Brazil

Received 4 May 2015; Accepted 28 June 2015

Academic Editor: Ilaria Lampronti

Copyright © 2015 Alisson Macário de Oliveira 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.


This work evaluated an ethanolic extract from Morus alba leaves for toxicity to Artemia salina, oral toxicity to mice, and antimicrobial activity. Phytochemical analysis revealed the presence of coumarins, flavonoids, tannins, and triterpenes in the extract, which did not show toxicity to A. salina nauplii. No mortality and behavioral alterations were detected for mice treated with the extract (300 and 2000 mg/kg b.w.) for 14 days. However, animals that received the highest dose showed reduced MCV and MCHC as well as increased serum alkaline phosphatase activity. In treatments with the extract at both 300 and 2000 mg/kg, there was a reduction in number of leukocytes, with decrease in percentage of lymphocytes and increase in proportion of segmented cells. Histopathological analysis of organs from mice treated with the extract at 2000 mg/kg revealed turgidity of contorted tubules in kidneys, presence of leukocyte infiltration around the liver centrilobular vein, and high dispersion of the spleen white pulp. The extract showed antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida albicans, Candida krusei, Candida tropicalis, and Aspergillus flavus. In conclusion, the extract contains antimicrobial agents and was not lethal for mice when ingested; however, its use requires caution because it promoted biochemical, hematological, and histopathological alterations.