A Comparative study on protection of Cyclopia spp. (Honeybush), Aspalathus linearis (Rooibos) and Camellia sinensis teas against Aflatoxin B1 induced mutagenesis in the Salmonella Mutagenicity assay : possible mechanisms involved
Antimutagenic activity of aqueous extracts of fermented and unfermented Cyclopia spp., i.e. C. intermedia, C. subternata, C. genistoides and C. sessiliflora against metabolically activated aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) in the Salmonella mutagenicity assay with tester strain TA100, was compared to that of fermented and unfermented Aspalathus linearis (rooibos) and Camellia sinensis (black, oolong and green) teas. Possible mechanisms involved in in vitro antimutagenic activity of these teas were investigated, i.e. the stabilising effect of the unfermented Cyclopia spp., unfermented rooibos and green tea on rat liver cytochrome P450 in the S9 fraction from Aroclor 1254 treated rats and their modulation of aniline-induced Type II difference spectra in the microsomal fraction. Inhibition of lipid peroxidation in rat liver S9, by the teas, was assessed to determine whether protection against lipid peroxidation may play a role in cytochrome P450 stability in vitro. Correlation of the antimutagenic activity of the teas with their stabilising effect on cytochrome P450 and inhibition of lipid peroxidation, provided insight into possibly related mechanisms. Antimutagenic activity correlated weakly with a decreased stabilising effect of the teas on cytochrome P450 (r = 0.411, P = 0.013) and the inhibition of lipid peroxidation (r = 0.475, P = 0.003). Decreased stability of cytochrome P450 was associated with substantial lipid peroxidation occurring in rat liver S9. Effective inhibition of lipid peroxidation and stabilising of cytochrome P450 in S9 was evident in the presence of the teas, but no correlation (r = 0.018, P = 0.915) existed for the effect of unfermented teas on cytochrome P450 stability with inhibition of lipid peroxidation. Black tea exhibited the highest protection against AFB1-induced mutagenesis and fermented C. intermedia offered the least protection. “Fermentation” resulted in increased antimutagenic activity of Camellia sinensis and rooibos teas, while the antimutagenic activity of Cyclopia spp. decreased with fermentation except for C. genistoides. Unfermented teas significantly (P < 0.05) stabilised cytochrome P450, with rooibos more effective (P < 0.05) than green tea, but similar (P < 0.05) to Cyclopia spp. Green tea demonstrated the highest inhibition of lipid peroxidation, while the inhibition exerted by rooibos was similar (P > 0.05) to unfermented Cyclopia spp., except for C. genistoides exhibiting the least inhibition. Total polyphenol, flavanol and flavonol/flavone contents of the respective teas were correlated with activity in terms of antimutagenicity, stabilising of cytochrome P450 and inhibition of lipid peroxidation. Antimutagenic activity of Cyclopia spp. correlated with its total polyphenol (r = 0.805, P < 0.0001) and flavanol (r = 0.653, P < 0.0001) contents, while a weak negative correlation (r = -0.456, P = 0.026) was observed for the inhibition of lipid peroxidation by unfermented Cyclopia spp. with the flavonol/flavone content. Antimutagenicity of Cyclopia spp. correlated weakly (r = 0.363, P = 0.012) with its hesperidin content. Antimutagenic activity of rooibos tea correlated moderately (r = 0.751, P < 0.005) with its flavonol/flavone content and specifically the flavones orientin (r = 0.674, P < 0.023) and iso-orientin (r = 0.728, P < 0.011). A strong negative correlation (r = -0.918, P < 0.0001) of antimutagenicity of rooibos with its aspalathin content was observed. Antimutagenic activity of Camellia sinensis teas did not correlate with their total polyphenol, flavanol or flavonol/flavone contents. The flavanol content of green tea showed a good, but marginal (P < 0.1) correlation (r = 0.824, P = 0.086) with decreased cytochrome P450 stability. The modulation of aniline-induced Type II binding to microsomal cytochrome P450 by green tea differed significantly (P < 0.05) from the modulation exhibited by rooibos and Cyclopia spp. Flavonoid glycosylation appeared to influence antimutagenic activity, stabilising of cytochrome P450 and modulation of substrate binding of selected phenolic compounds. The present study indicates that rooibos and Cyclopia spp. have in vitro antimutagenic activity against AFB1, suggesting that consumption of these two herbal teas may have beneficial health effects. It is also suggested that stabilising of cytochrome P450 by tea, and interaction of tea constituents with cytochrome P450, may influence their in vitro antimutagenic activity.