Research Article

In vitro assessment of the genotoxic and cytotoxic effects of boiled juice (tucupi) from Manihot esculenta Crantz roots

Abstract

The population of Pará (a state in Brazil) has a very characteristic food culture, as a majority of the carbohydrates consumed are obtained from cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) derivatives. Tucupi is the boiled juice of cassava roots that plays a major role in the culinary footprint of Pará. Before boiling, this juice is known as manipueira and contains linamarin, a toxic glycoside that can decompose to hydrogen cyanide. In this study, the cytotoxic and genotoxic effects of tucupi on cultured human lymphocytes were assessed using the comet assay and detection of apoptosis and necrosis by differential fluorescent staining with acridine orange-ethidium bromide. Tucupi concentrations (v/v) were determined using the methylthiazole tetrazolium biochemical test. Concentrations of tucupi that presented no genotoxic effects (2, 4, 8, and 16%) were used in our experiments. The results showed that under our study conditions, tucupi exerted no genotoxic effects; however, cytotoxic effects were observed with cell death mainly induced by necrosis. These effects may be related to the presence of hydrogen cyanide in the juice.

The population of Pará (a state in Brazil) has a very characteristic food culture, as a majority of the carbohydrates consumed are obtained from cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) derivatives. Tucupi is the boiled juice of cassava roots that plays a major role in the culinary footprint of Pará. Before boiling, this juice is known as manipueira and contains linamarin, a toxic glycoside that can decompose to hydrogen cyanide. In this study, the cytotoxic and genotoxic effects of tucupi on cultured human lymphocytes were assessed using the comet assay and detection of apoptosis and necrosis by differential fluorescent staining with acridine orange-ethidium bromide. Tucupi concentrations (v/v) were determined using the methylthiazole tetrazolium biochemical test. Concentrations of tucupi that presented no genotoxic effects (2, 4, 8, and 16%) were used in our experiments. The results showed that under our study conditions, tucupi exerted no genotoxic effects; however, cytotoxic effects were observed with cell death mainly induced by necrosis. These effects may be related to the presence of hydrogen cyanide in the juice.