Study on Cytotoxicity and Teratogenicity of Two Cultivars of Iranian Safflower with Red Florets IL 111 and Yellow Florets  LRV 5151


Mehran Mohseni, Ebrahim Azizi, Seyed Mohammad Shariatpanahi, Hamidreza Monsef Esfahani, Manochehr Hamedi, Seyed Nasser Ostad


Traditional & Complementary Medicine Exhibition 2007 (TCME 2007)




Safflower, cell toxicity, teratogenicity


Safflower,Carthamus tinctoriusL., is a member of the family Compositae or Asteraceae, cultivated mainly for its seed, which is used as edible oil and as bird seed. Traditionally, the crop was grown for its flowers, used for coloring and flavoring foods and medicines. In recent years, the use of carthami flos (the flowers ofC. tinctoriusL.) as a coloring and flavoring agent hasincreased as a food additive in Iran. There are some conflicting studies which are mentioned of different scope of toxicity, teratogenicity and mutagenicity about this flos. Due to economical value of this flower we decided to have extensive studyabout the some of important cultivars in Iran. This study was done on two cultivars of Iranian safflower IL 111 and LRV 5151. The cell toxicity and teratogenicity of the 70% ethanolic extract of their extracts was examined by using Balb/C cells and limb bud micromass culture. Florets collected and dried on shade was extracted with 70% ethanolic solutions and freeze dried. Different concentrations were prepared from their dried extracts. In teratogenicity study, after 5 days treatment of different concentrations of extracts: 1-1000 μg/ml, the ratio of teratogenic effect/ viability showed  no teratogenic effect by both  extracts as previously reported for this method of assay. The results obtained from cytotoxic assay also demonstrated a concentration-dependent cytotoxic effect of carthami flos extract on the Balb/C fibroblasts after 72 hours. The measured IC50 for IL and LRV extracts in these cells was 223 and 515 μg/ml respectively. It is concluded that the use of carthami flos as a food additive should be reconsidered.