Inhibitory effects of ellagic acid on the direct-acting mutagenicity of aflatoxin B1 in the Salmonella microsuspension assay

Guadalupe Loarca-Piña, Paul A. Kuzmicky, Elvira González de Mejía, Norman Y. Kado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ellagic acid (EA) is a phenolic compound that exhibits both antimutagenic and anticarcinogenic activity in a wide range of assays in vitro and in vivo. It occurs naturally in some foods such as strawberries, raspberries, and grapes. In the previous work, we used the Salmonella microsuspension assay to examine the antimutagenicity of EA against the potent mutagen aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) using tester strains TA98 and TA100. Briefly, the microsuspension assay was approximately 10 times more sensitive than the standard Salmonella/microsome (Ames) test in detecting AFB1 mutagenicity, and EA significantly inhibited mutagenicity of all AFB1 doses in both tester strains with the addition of S9. The greatest inhibitory effect of EA on AFB1 mutagenicity occurred when EA and AFB1 were incubated together (with metabolic enzymes). Lower inhibition was apparent when the cells were first incubated with EA followed by a second incubation with AFB1 or when the cells were first incubated with AFB1 followed by a second incubation with EA alone, all with metabolic enzymes. The result of these sequential incubation studies indicates that one mechanism of inhibition could involve the formation of an AFB1-EA chemical complex, In the present study, we further examine the effect of EA on AFB1 mutagenicity, but without the addition of exogenous metabolic enzymes. We report the mutagenicity of AFB1 in the microsuspension assay using TA98 and TA100 without the addition of S9. Neither the concentrations of AFB1 (0.6, 1.2, and 2.4 μg/tube) nor the concentrations of EA (0.3, 1.5, 3, 10, and 20 μg/tube) were toxic to the bacteria, The results indicate that AFB1 is a direct-acting mutagen, and that EA inhibits AFB1 direct-acting mutagenicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-187
Number of pages5
JournalMutation Research - Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Feb 28 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Aflatoxin B
  • Ellagic acid
  • Metabolism
  • Microsuspension
  • Mutagenicity
  • Salmonella typhimurium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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