[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Buddleja globosa Hope (matico) is a Chilean plant used by native medicine mainly in the treatment of wound healing and as an anti‐inflammatory agent. We have developed a standardized hydroalcoholic extract from matico leaves, in terms of total polyphenolic content. This extract may be useful in accelerating the wound healing process. To this end, we studied the in vivo effects of this extract in a rat model, in terms of general homeostasis. Data showed that oral treatment of adult male Sprague‐Dawley rats with this extract, for up to 12 days, did not alter their hemogram and clinical chemistry parameters. In addition, we showed that topical treatment with the same extract was able to accelerate wound healing in these animals, most likely through shortening the inflammatory stage of the healing process. Altogether, our data demonstrate that local effects of this particular
standardized matico extract are likely to retain their wound healing properties while not altering the general homeostasis of the animals. We discuss these results in terms of the possible pharmacological applications of this extract.
Revista de Farmacología de Chile. 01/2013; 5(1):13-19.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: El alto contenido de principios activos con poder antioxidante que poseen las hojas de Ugni molinae, arbusto componente del sotobosque nativo, motivaron la búsqueda de material promisorio para su cultivo. El objetivo del trabajo fue determinar la capacidad de enraizamiento de estacas de dos procedencias del límite norte de distribución de la especie y el efecto de la exposición y edad de la hoja sobre su concentración de taninos y flavonoides. El ensayo de enraizamiento se realizó en cama caliente con estacas provenientes de 10 plantas madres de cada procedencia. Al cabo de tres meses se logró enraizamiento en más del 70 % de las estacas superando la procedencia Cordillera de Los Andes a la procedencia Cordillera de la Costa. La aplicación de hormona de enraizamiento a la base de las estacas (1,5 mg g-1 AIB), mejoró significativamente el porcentaje de enraizamiento y la calidad de las raíces formadas. Para la cuantificación de principios activos se cosecharon hojas de cinco plantas de sol y cinco plantas de sombra de cada procedencia. Las hojas de sol presentaron mayor concentración de flavonoides que las hojas de sombra en ambas procedencias. Las hojas de sol de la Cordillera de Los Andes contenían más taninos que las hojas de sombra de la misma procedencia. La edad de la hoja no influyó en su concentración de principios activos.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Buddleja globosa is a medicinal shrub native to Chile. Its leaves have been traditionally used for wound and ulcer healing. Different medicinal properties, such as outstanding antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, wound healing and analgesic activities have been shown. Today, all raw materials for pharmaceutical process are coming from wild collection or recently established crops but not from selected plants. Studies of the genetic or environmental variability of the species would permit the optimization of yield and quality factors through the selection of genetic material or suitable production sites and management techniques.To assess which traits are determined genetically some yield related plant and leaf characteristics were studied in three wild populations and the cultivated accessions from the same provenances. The cultivated accessions also included three clones coming from individuals found in rural home gardens. For the cultivation studies individuals were arranged in a randomised block design, and those for the irrigation studies in split plots watered at 20% and 65% field capacity.Plant characteristics such as height and width of the plant, the ratio of both, stem diameter and leaf density differed significantly among natural populations. In leaf characteristics only the presence of stipules showed significant differences. The cultivated progenies or clones may give an idea if these differences among populations are due to environmental or to genetic effects. Compared with other provenances, plants from the coastal provenance Los Ruiles are tallest in both natural populations and cultivated clones and also showed superior leaf yields in spite of their lower leaf density.The hairy leaves may cause allergic reactions at the moment of harvest. This characteristic is not influenced by different irrigation treatments and shows no significant differences between cultivated and wild plants.Because of the significant higher leaf yields per plant in home garden clones we assume that formerly individuals with a higher leaf production were selected for cultivation.
Industrial Crops and Products 09/2011; 34(2):1322-1326. · 3.21 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Boldo (Peumus boldus Mol.) is a medicinal plant native to the central zone of Chile and part of the sclerophyll forest. More than 2000tons of dried leaves exported annually are wild collected. To develop a cultivation system that supports sustainable production of boldo leaves, we have studied growth and harvest of boldo under different light and soil water conditions. The leaf yield per plant as well as the alkaloid and essential oil content were the same for plants grown under shade and for plants exposed to full sun. The only difference between the shaded and the full sun plants was a higher percentage of stem in the harvested product of shade grown plants. This result would permit the intercropping of boldo in forest plantations without affecting the leaf yield and medicinal quality. The excellent adaptation to dry conditions was confirmed, as the different treatments of soil water led to similar leaf yields and plant heights. Plants submitted to water stress produced fewer but longer shoots and contained less essential oil. None of the treatments except water stress affected the medicinal quality requirements of alkaloid or essential oil concentration in the leaves. Wild collected leaves are inexpensive because of low production costs. To be able to compete with wild supplied leaves in the international market, we have evaluated high density plantings as a way to lower costs of a cultivated product by mechanizing harvest. High planting densities led to loweryielding individuals, but leaf yield per area increased. Plant height and the percentage of leaves in the harvested product was the same for densities of 8- and 16 plants m−2. The leaves produced by cultivated boldo generally fulfill the requirements described in the European Pharmacopoeia. We conclude that boldo can be successfully cultivated under the described cultivation conditions.
Industrial Crops and Products - IND CROPS PRODUCTS. 01/2011; 34(2):1310-1312.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cardiovascular diseases account for the majority of deaths worldwide. Many of their risk factors have been identified but, for their continued study, research centering on new murine models is of interest. In this study, a high fat diet (HFD) and a normal diet (ND) (25 and 4.4% fat, respectively) were tested over a 40-day period to induce the same metabolic alterations in CF-1 mice in two separate experiments. The parameters measured for these effects corresponded to the weight of ingested food and water, to the weight of the mice and their selected organs (adipose tissue, gastrocnemius, liver and heart), to their biochemical profile (glycemia, blood uric nitrogen, uric acid, triglycerides, cholesterol, proteins and albumin) and to the percentage of fat in their livers. The biochemical profile of the CF-1 mice fed a diet high in fat but balanced in proteins (16.9%) showed statistically significant increases in glycemia, cholesterol and triglyceride levels. A statistically significant increase in the weight of adipose tissue was also observed. No statistically significant differences were observed in the muscular mass of either of the groups of mice, but a high percentage of fat was found in the liver. The results lead to the conclusion that CF-1 mice fed a HFD develop metabolic alterations that correspond to an equivalent metabolic syndrome. This is important in the evaluation of the effects of various interventions, such as food, exercise and molecules, on metabolic alterations in mice induced by the intake of a HFD.
Molecular Medicine Reports 05/2008; 1(3):401-5. · 1.17 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The gastroprotective abietane diterpene ferruginol has been shown to present high cytotoxicity. In order to obtain active compounds with less cytotoxicity, 18 semisynthetic ferruginol derivatives and totarol were assessed for their gastroprotective effects in the HCl/ethanol-induced gastric lesion model in mice, as well as for cytotoxicity in human gastric epithelial cells (AGS) and human lung fibroblasts (MRC-5). At 20 mg kg(-1), the greatest gastroprotective effects were provided by abieta-8,11,13-triene (1), abieta-8,11,13-trien-12-yl-2-chloropropanoate (8), abieta-8,11,13-trien-12-yl propenoate (9), 12-(2,3,4,6-tetra-O-acetyl-beta-D-glucopyranosyloxy)-abieta-8,11,13-triene (17) and 12-(beta-D-galactopyranosyloxy)-abieta-8,11,13-triene (18), all of which were as active as the reference drug lansoprazole at 20 mg kg(-1), reducing gastric lesions by 69, 76, 67, 72 and 61%, respectively. No relation was observed between lipophilicity and the gastroprotective effect. Compounds that showed the greatest cytotoxicity towards AGS cells were ferruginol (2), the corresponding formate (5), acetate (6), propionate (7), 8, 9, 12-(beta-D-glucopyranosyloxy)-abieta-8,11,13-triene (16), 18 and totarol (20) (IC50 18-44 microM). Ferruginol and compounds 5-9, 16, 18 and 20 were the most toxic compounds against fibroblasts (IC50 19-56 microM), with a correlation to AGS cells. The derivative 19 was much more active against AGS cells than towards fibroblasts. The best activity/cytotoxicity ratio was found for compound 17, with a lesion index comparable with lansoprazole at 20 mg kg(-1) and cytotoxicity >1000 microM towards MRC-5 and AGS cells, respectively. In conclusion, some derivatives showed a better gastroprotective effect/cytotoxicity ratio than the parent compound ferruginol. A total of 13 new compounds are reported here for the first time.
Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology 02/2007; 59(2):289-300. · 2.03 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Drimys winteri (Winteraceae) is a tree with medicinal properties native to Chile. Its bark contains polygodial and drimenol in unknown quantities, with antimicrobial and antinociceptive activity. The purpose of the present study was to quantify polygodial and drimenol concentrations in leaves of five populations of D. winteri and one of Drimys andina from different regions of Chile, by GC analysis of the hexane extract. The concentration of these compounds was also determined in the bark of one of the D. winteri populations. In dried leaves mean concentrations of 0.99% for polygodial and 0.011% for drimenol could be observed, both differing significantly among the studied populations. It is concluded that polygodial and drimenol are present in the leaves and the bark of D. winteri and in D. andina leaves, this being the first report of the presence of these compounds in the latter species.
Biochemical Systematics and Ecology - BIOCHEM SYST ECOL. 01/2007; 35(7):434-438.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The gastroprotective effect of the sesquiterpene cyperenoic acid and seven semi-synthetic derivatives was assessed in the HCl/ethanol-induced gastric ulcer model in mice. At doses of 25, 50 and 100 mg kg(-1), cyperenoic acid showed a dose-dependent gastroprotective effect reducing the lesions by 45 and 75% at 50 and 100 mg kg(-1), respectively. Seven derivatives of the sesquiterpene were prepared and their gastroprotective activity compared at 50 mg kg(-1). The cytotoxicity of the compounds was evaluated in fibroblasts and AGS cells. At 50 mg kg(-1), patchoulan-15-oic acid (compound 8) presented the best gastroprotective effect, reducing the gastric lesions by 86%, with a similar effect to lansoprazole at 20 mg kg(-1). The gastroprotective effect of cyperenol, cyperenoic acid methyl ester and the ethylamide and butylamide from cyperenoic acid were in the same range, reducing the gastric lesions by 72-77%. Cyperenol and cyperenoic acid methyl ester, however, were more cytotoxic with IC50 (concentration that produces a 50% inhibitory effect) values of 44 and 75, 48 and 75 microM against AGS cells and fibroblasts, respectively. The best gastroprotective effect with lower cytotoxicity was found for the compound 8, cyperenoic acid and the p-anisidyl derivative 7.
Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology 12/2006; 58(11):1507-13. · 2.03 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The triterpene oleanolic acid 1 and its semisynthetic derivatives 2-7 were assessed for gastroprotective and ulcer-healing effect using human epithelial gastric cells (AGS) and human lung fibroblasts (MRC-5). The ability of the compounds to protect the AGS cells against the damage induced by sodium taurocholate (NaT), to stimulate the cellular reduced glutathione (GSH) and prostaglandin E(2) content, to enhance AGS and MRC-5 cell proliferation and to scavenge superoxide anion in vitro was studied. The cytotoxicity of the compounds was assessed towards MRC-5 and AGS cells. In addition, the gastroprotective activity of the compounds was assessed in vivo using the HCl/EtOH-induced ulcer model in mice. All the assayed compounds displayed a significant reduction of AGS cells damage after incubation with NaT. None of the studied compounds was active as a superoxide anion scavenger nor stimulated the GSH content in AGS cell cultures. Compounds 1, 2, 4 and 6 were able to increase the prostaglandin content in AGS cell cultures. Concerning the proliferation assays, a significant stimulating effect was observed for compounds 3 and 7 on AGS cells and for 1 and 7 on MRC-5 fibroblasts. Regarding cytotoxicity, derivatives 2, 4, 6 and 7 were less toxic than the parent compound oleanolic acid. Our results strongly support the predictive capacity of the in vitro assessment of gastroprotective activity allowing the reduction of experimental animals.
Life Sciences 09/2006; 79(14):1349-56. · 2.56 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Equisetum bogotense (Equisetaceae) and Fuchsia magellanica (Onagraceae) were used by the Mapuche Amerindians as diuretics. Intravenous administration of hydroalcoholic extracts to rats elicited a hypotensive response of −29.0% ±4.5% and −24.2% ±0.5% respectively in the mean blood pressure of normotensive animals at a dose of 5 mg crude extract/kg body weight. The activity was found to be related with polar compounds. For Fuchsia, the active principles are related to tannins. A single oral dose of 500 mg/kg body weight Equisetum extract produced a significant increase (p < 0.05) in the urine output in rats, while in Fuchsia a reduction in diuresis was observed. The diuretic effect of the Equisetum extract was weak compared with hydrochlorothiazide at 25 mg/kg body weight. The data presented support the use of E. bogotense in Chilean traditional medicine. A micropropagation method for E. bogotense was established by culturing shoot tips in Murashige-Skoog medium with macro and micronutrients diluted 4-fold and containing 0.1 mg/L thiamine, 100 mg/L myoinositol, 1.0 mg/L NAA and 0.1 mg/L BAP.
Phytotherapy Research 01/2006; 8(3):157 - 160. · 2.40 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An infusion or decoction of the aerial parts of Fabiana imbricata (Solanaceae) is used in traditional medicine in Chile and Argentina as a digestive and diuretic agent. The main sesquiterpene of the plant was identified as 11-hydroxy-4-amorphen-15-oic acid. At doses of 25, 50 and 100 mg/kg, the compound showed a dose-dependent gastroprotective effect in HCl/EtOH-induced gastric lesions in mice reducing the lesions by 68% at 100 mg/kg. Seven derivatives of the terpene were prepared and their gastroprotective effect was assessed in HCl/EtOH-induced gastric lesions in mice. The cytotoxicity of the products was evaluated in fibroblasts and AGS cells. At 100 mg/kg, 11-hydroxy-4-amorphen-15-p-toluidinamide presented the best gastroprotective effect reducing the gastric lesions by 80%, showing a similar effect to lansoprazole at 20 mg/kg. The compound, however, presented higher cytotoxicity than other derivatives with the IC50 ranging between 110 and 145 microm in AGS cells and fibroblasts, respectively. Most compounds proved to be non-toxic showing cytotoxicity values higher than 1000 microm. The spectroscopic data of six 11-hydroxy-4-amorphen-15-oic acid derivatives are presented here for the first time.
Phytotherapy Research 01/2006; 19(12):1038-42. · 2.40 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The labdane diterpene solidagenone 1 and its semisynthetic and biotransformation derivatives 2-10 were assessed for gastroprotective and ulcer-healing effect using human epithelial gastric cells (AGS) and human lung fibroblasts (MRC-5). The ability of the compounds to protect the AGS cells against the damage induced by sodium taurocholate (NaT), to stimulate the cellular reduced glutathione (GSH), prostaglandin E(2) content, enhance AGS and MRC-5 cell proliferation and to scavenge superoxide anion in vitro was studied. The cytotoxicity of the compounds was assessed towards MRC-5 fibroblasts and AGS cells. A significant reduction of cell damage after NaT incubation was observed when the AGS cells were pretreated with compounds 2 and 6. Treatment with compounds 4-6, 8 and 9 significantly stimulated the GSH content in AGS cell cultures. None of the studied compounds was active as a superoxide anion scavenger. In AGS cells treated with compounds 1-10, only compound 5 was able to increase prostaglandin content. Concerning the proliferation assays, a significant stimulating effect was observed for compounds 2, 8, 9 on AGS cells and for 5, 7-9 on MRC-5 fibroblasts. Regarding cytotoxicity, solidagenone showed higher toxicity while compounds 4 and 7 were the less toxic. Our results showed that most of the studied compounds act in vitro as gastroprotectors increasing the cellular GSH content. Additionally, some derivatives exhibited in vitro ulcer-healing effect stimulating the cell proliferation.
Life Sciences 10/2005; 77(17):2193-205. · 2.56 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The gastroprotective activity of the new semi-synthetic solidagenone derivative 15,16-epoxy8(9),13(16),14-labdatrien-7 beta-methoxy-6 beta-ol (ELMO) has been assessed on the model of HCl/EtOH-induced gastric lesions in mice. Human gastric epithelial cells (AGS) and fibroblasts (MRC-5) were used to determine its mode of action. The effect of ELMO on the prostaglandin E2 content, cellular reduced glutathione (GSH) and protection against damage induced by sodium taurocholate was assessed against AGS cells. The effect of ELMO on the growth of AGS and fibroblast cultures was evaluated. The superoxide anion scavenging capacity of the compound was studied also. The cytotoxicity of ELMO, expressed as cell viability, was assessed using two independent endpoints: neutral red uptake (NRU) and the reduction of 3-(4,5-dimethyl-2-thiazolyl)-2,5-diphenyl-2H-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) for MRC-5 fibroblasts and NRU for AGS cells. A single oral dose of ELMO (10 and 20 mg kg(-1)) inhibited the appearance of gastric lesions in mice displaying similar values to lansoprazole at 20 mg kg(-1). At 40 microM ELMO increased the prostaglandin E2 content but not GSH in AGS cells. The compound showed no effect on sodium taurocholate-induced damage and was devoid of superoxide anion scavenging activity. Concentrations of 0.5, 1, 2 and 4 microM stimulated fibroblast but not AGS cell proliferation. The compound showed weak cytotoxicity with values (IC50) of 411 (NRU) and 418 microM (MTT) for fibroblasts and 261 microM (NRU) for AGS cells. The results support further pharmacological study of this compound as a potential new anti-ulcerogenic drug.
Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology 03/2005; 57(2):265-71. · 2.03 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: "Bailahuén" is the common name of a medicinal shrub native to Chile where this resinous herb is widely used for its liver stimulating properties. Although the official species is Haplopappus baylahuen Remy (Asteraceae), other species of the same genus are also used in different regions as "bailahuén". A thin layer chromatography (TLC) method for rapid identification of different species and detection of adulterations is described for four of the species: Haplopappus baylahuen, Haplopappus taeda Reiche, Haplopappus multifolius Phil., and Haplopappus remyanus Wedd. To confirm efficiency in all species antioxidant properties were screened in resins, infusions, and methanolic extracts by tests of lipid peroxidation in erythrocytes and free radical scavenging activity by DPPH. In both studies Haplopappus baylahuen showed the lowest antioxidant capacity. In DPPH analyses, infusion and resins of Haplopappus baylahuen also showed the lowest and Haplopappus remyanus the major inhibiting activity of free radicals, while Haplopappus multifolius proved to have the highest result when the methanolic extracts were used. The chemical characterization of the studied species showed important levels of flavonoids and coumarins, with flavonoids predominating in Haplopappus taeda, coumarins in Haplopappus multifolius and both of them in Haplopappus baylahuen and Haplopappus remyanus.
Journal of Ethnopharmacology 03/2005; 97(1):97-100. · 2.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Con fines de domesticación se estudiaron seis accesiones de matico, Buddleja globosa Hope, durante dos temporadas, cultivadas en parcelas divididas para dos niveles de riego. Además, se evaluó el efecto del número de cosechas por temporada y la extracción de nutrientes. Las tres accesiones silvestres mostraron menores rendimientos de hojas que las tres cultivadas con 0,17 contra 0,25 kg planta-1 (P £ 0,05), una de ellas con el mayor valor peso hojas:material aéreo, 0,64 contra 0,54 a 0,57. Entre las accesiones se encontraron diferencias significativas (P £ 0,05) en el número de brotes por planta (13,3 contra 28,5), mientras que en la concentración de flavonoides y taninos éstas no fueron significativas. De la primera a la segunda temporada aumentaron el rendimiento de hojas de 0,18 a 0,23 kg planta-1, el número de brotes de 15,8 a 28,0 y los contenidos de flavonoides de 0,20 a 0,48%, y taninos de 1,54 a 2,00% (P £ 0,05). El estrés hídrico afectó al rendimiento (0,16 contra 0,25 kg planta-1) (P £ 0,05). Con tres cosechas se obtuvo el menor rendimiento (0,19 contra 0,29 y 0,25 kg planta-1 para una y dos cosechas, respectivamente). Con el número de cortes aumentó la relación hojas:material aéreo de 0,50 a 0,65 y el contenido de flavonoides, mientras que disminuyó el contenido de taninos de 3,21 a 1,85% (P £ 0,05). Una tonelada de hojas deshidratadas extrajo 18,26 kg N; 2,17 kg P; 12,25 kg K; 7,43 kg Ca; 2,8 kg Mg; 94 g Mn; 24 g Zn y 11 g Cu.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The labdane diterpene solidagenone and four semisynthetic derivatives were assessed for effects on the glucocorticoid-mediated signal transduction. Solidagenone and the derivatives proved to be active with IC50 values between 1 and 25 micrograms/mL. All compounds were cytotoxic towards L 1210, BHK and COS 7 cells with IC50 from 10-100 micrograms/mL.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Boldo is a tree or shrub with medicinal properties native to Chile. The leaves contain alkaloids and essential oils. Variation of total alkaloid concentration, of the alkaloid boldine, and essential oil components were studied in different populations from northern, central, and southern parts of its geographic range and in their progenies (half-sib families). Total alkaloid concentration showed genetic variation between progenies of the central population but not between populations. Boldine content found in concentrations of 0.007 to 0.009% did not differ significantly between populations. Principal components of the essential oil were determined genetically, with highest values for ascaridole in the population of the north and for P-cymene in the south. Between half-sib families genetic variation was found in the central and northern populations for these components. The high heritability coefficients found indicate considerable potential for successful selection of individuals for these characters.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The proximate composition and biological activity of food plants and mushrooms gathered by Chilean Amerindians were assessed.
The gathered plants served primarily as sources of carbohydrates with highest values for Dioscorea tubers, Prosopis alba pods
meal and Bromus catharticus seeds. The mushrooms Clavaria coralloides and Boletus loyus proved to be the best protein sources
in our survey, but deficient in the amino acids methionine and cysteine. Some extracts of the plants and mushrooms under study
showed biological activity as free radical scavengers, enzyme inhibitors, hypotensive or DNA binding effect. Free radical
scavenging activity was detected in Cryptocarya alba fruit extract, while Typha angustifolia showed a strong DNA binding effect
at 0.50 mg/ml. Methanolic extracts of the Apiaceae species Sanicula graveolens and Apium australe were moderately active as
β-glucuronidase inhibitors at 50 fig/ml.
Compositión proximal y actividad biológica de plantas alimenticias recolectadas por Amerindios chilenos. Se determine la composition
proximal y la actividad biológica de plantas y hongos alimenticios recolectados por amerindios de Chile. Las plantas colectadas
fueron en conjunto una fuente de carbohidratos, con valores mayores en los tubérculos de Dioscorea, la harina de frutos de
Prosopis alba y los frutos de Bromus catharticus. Los hongos Clavaria coralloides y Boletus loyus resultaron ser las mejores
fuentes proteicas de este estudio, siendo ambos, sin embargo, deficitarios en los aminodcidos esenciales metionina y cisteina.
Algunos extrados de las plantas y hongos en estudio mostraron actividad biológica como atrapadores de radicales libres, inhibidores
enzimáticos, efecto hipotensor o union al ADN. Se detecta actividad atrapadora de radicales libres en el extracto de frutos
de Cryptocarya alba, asi como un fuerte efecto de union al ADN del extracto de Typha angustifolia a 0.50 mg/ml. Extractos
metanólicos de las Apiaceae Sanicula graveolens y Apium australe fueron moderadamente activos como inhibidores de la enzima
β-glucuronidasa a 50 ug/ml.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The biological activity and nutritional composition of Chilean collections ofCyttaria berteroi C. darwinii, C. espinosae, C. harioti andC. johowii have been determined. The crude protein, lipid, ash, and carbohydrate content of the samples examined were similar to that
of other edible fungi. Amino acid analysis of ChileanCyttaria showed that proteins of all species are deficient in methionine and cysteine and excepting oneC. espinosae collection, all samples proved to be below the WHO values for the essential amino acids valine, isoleucine, leucine, and
lysine. The acute oral toxicity test ofC. espinosae in rats showed that doses up to 2.5 g extract/kg body weight (corresponding to 25.7–38.7 g fresh weight/kg) did not produce
mortality or macroscopic damage in the organs examined of the test animals. Cyttaria extracts assayed at 50 fig/ml were inactive
or moderately active as inhibitors towards the enzymes xanthine oxidase (0-31%) and β-glucuronidase (0-65%), and lacked antifungal
and antibacterial effects in a battery of antimicrobial assays. When administered intravenously at 2.5 mg/kg, the water-soluble
extract ofCyttaria produced a hypotensive response in rats (-16 to -21%). Furthermore, most of the aqueous extracts ofC. espinosae andC. harioti showed DNA binding activity. The main sterols fromCyttaria espinosae andC. berteroi were identified as dihydrobrassicasterol derivatives. Our study suggests that edibleCyttaria species do not represent an acute toxicity risk for consumers and that their nutritional value is similar to that of other
edible, cultivated mushrooms. The preservation ofCyttaria spp. as a food resource is linked to the protection of the temperateNothofagus forests.