2. Universidade Estadual Paulista Julio de Mesquita Filho – UNESP – Instituto de Biociências, Departamento de Biologia, Rio Claro, SP, Brazil.
3. Universidade Federal de São Paulo – UNIFESP, Departamento de Ciências Exatas e da Terra, Diadema, SP, Brazil.
4. Universidade Estadual de Campinas - UNICAMP, Faculdade de Ciências Médicas, Campinas, SP, Brazil.
5. University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, CECAV and Department of Genetics and Biotechnology, Vila Real, Portugal.
6. São Paulo State University– UNESP – Faculty of Phylosophy and Sciences, Speech and Hearing Therapy Department, Marília, SP, Brazil.
The plant Crataegus oxyacantha L., Rosaceae, also known as white hawthorn or hawthorn, is originally native to Europe, North America and Asia, but can also be found in other continents and has been widely used due to its potential pharmacological effects, such as cardiotonic, anti-oxidant, hypolipidemic, antiinflammatory, sedative, among others. Considering the importance of C. oxyacantha as a natural alternative medicine, and the lack of studies involving its cellular toxicity, the objective of this study was to analyze the morpho-histological effects of C. oxyacantha fruit extract in the liver and spleen cells of mice supplemented with 50 (I), 100 (II) or200 mg/kg (III) of extract, in order to evaluate its cytotoxic effects. The liver of the individuals in group I showed no damage. Individuals in group II presented liver in the early stages of tissue and cytoplasmic disorganization. Those of group III suffered major histological alterations such as extensive cytoplasmic disorganization, appearance of vacuoles and increased sinusoidal capillaries, and large amounts of Kupffer cells. On the other hand, the spleen was not histologically modified after the treatments, maintaining its architecture as in the control group. Histochemical analyzes revealed alteration in the liver only, both in the amount of polysaccharides and lipids. It can be concluded that supplementation with C. oxyacantha fruit extract in higher doses leads to tissue disorganization in the liver of mice that indicates the need for caution with continuous and/or high doses use of this plant.
Keywords: Hawthorn cytotoxicity, Hawthorn liver toxicity, Rosaceae toxicology, Hawthorn liver