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Antimutagenic and mutagenic potentials of Chinese radish.

The edible part of fresh Chinese radish was chopped into small pieces, lyophilized, and then extracted sequentially with hexane, chloroform, and methanol. The solvent in each fraction was removed by evaporation under reduced pressure at 50-55 degrees C, and the residue was dissolved in dimethylsufoxide just before being tested for antimutagenicity as well as mutagenicity using the Salmonella/mammalian microsome mutagenicity test. We found that none of the three fractions exhibited any mutagenicity toward S. typhimurium strains TA98 and TA100 when tested either in the presence or absence of S-9 mix. Interestingly, however, hexane and chloroform extracts could strongly inhibit the mutagenicities of both direct mutagens (e.g., 2-(2-furyl)-3-(5-nitro-2-furyl)acrylamide and sodium azide) and indirect mutagens (e.g., aflatoxin B1). In contrast, however, these two fractions did not inhibit the mutagenicity of benzo[a]pyrene, which is also an indirect mutagen. Both hexane and chloroform extracts could also markedly inhibit the activities of rat liver aniline hydroxylase and aminopyrine demethylase. The methanol fraction could inhibit neither the mutagenicities of direct or indirect mutagens tested nor the activities of those two rat liver enzymes. Results of the present study demonstrate that Chinese radish may not contain any mutagenic compound but does contain some nonpolar compounds with antimutagenic activity toward both direct and indirect mutagens. In addition, the antimutagenic activity toward aflatoxin B1 may be partly due to the inhibition of enzymes necessary for activation of this mutagen.