AccScience Publishing / ITPS / Volume 2 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.26689/itps.v2i1.780
Cite this article
Journal Browser
Volume | Year
News and Announcements
View All

Toxicity Effect of Bougainvillea glabra (Paper Flower) Water Extracts on Zebrafish Embryo

Lu E. Teh1 Chin Siang Kue1* Chean Hui Ng2 Beng Fye Lau3
Show Less
1 Department of Diagnostic and Allied Health Sciences, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Management and Science University, 40100 Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
2 School of Pharmacy, Management and Science University, 40100 Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
3 Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
INNOSC Theranostics and Pharmacological Sciences 2019, 2(1), 780
Submitted: 24 June 2019 | Accepted: 27 July 2019 | Published: 31 July 2019
© 2019 by the Authors. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution -Noncommercial 4.0 International License (CC-by the license) ( )

Background: Bougainvillea glabra, or paper flower, is an ornamental plant known to possess various pharmacological 
activities. However, there is little information on the potential toxicity of this plant. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the acute toxicity and the potential teratogenic activity of water extracts of B. glabra bracts on zebrafish embryos which were selected as the model in this study. 
Methods: The pink, purple, and dark pink bracts of B. glabra were extracted using the Soxhlet method. Embryos with the same division stage were selected and treated with the extracts (1-300 µg/mL) for 72 h. The mortality of the embryos was recorded and the teratogenicity effect induced by the extracts was identified. The yolk sac area and pigmentation were quantified using Image-J. The data were analyzed by IBM SPSS 22.0. 
Results: All extracts within the tested concentrations did not induce death in embryo, except the pink bract extract with LC50 of 85.51 µg/mL. In the teratogenicity study, all the extract-treated embryos showed yolk sac edema at different concentrations, and the defect observed was independent of the concentrations. On top of that, the purple bract extract induced hypopigmentation in embryo, significantly at 30 µg/mL compared to control. 
Conclusion: This study concluded that the water extracts derived from the pink, purple, and dark pink bracts of B. glabra have mild toxicity toward embryo.

Zebrafish embryos
Bougainvillea glabra
Acute toxicity

Abarca-Vargas, R; Petricevich, V.L. Bougainvillea genus: A review on phytochemistry, pharmacology, and toxicology. Evid. Based Complement. Alternat. Med., 2018, 2018, 1-17.


Edwin, E.; Sheeja, E.; Toppo, E.; Tiwari, V.; Dutt, K.R. Efecto antimicrobiano, antiulceroso y antidiarreico de las hojas de buganvilla (Bougainvillea glabra Choisy). Ars Pharm., 2007, 48(2), 135-144.


Elumalai A.; Eswaraiah, M.C.; Lahari, K.M.; Shaik, H.A. In-vivoscreening of Bougainvillea glabra leaves for its analgesic, antipyretic and anti-inflammatory activities. Asian J. Res. Pharm. Sci., 2012, 2(3), 85-87.


Ali, M.S.; Ibrahim, S.A.; Ahmed, F.; Pervex, M.K. Color versus bioactivity in the flowers of Bougainvillea spectabilis (Nyctaginaceae). Nat. Prod. Res., 2005, 19(1), 1-5.


Islam, M.Z.; Hossain, M.T.; Hossen, F.; Akter, M.S.; Mokammel, M.A. In-vitro antioxidant and antimicrobial activity of Bougainvillea glabra flower. Res. J. Med. Plants, 2016, 10(3), 228-236.


Parng, C.; Seng, W.L.; Semino, C.; McGrath, P. Zebrafish: A preclinical model for drug screening. Assay Drug Dev. Technol., 2002, 1(1 Pt 1), 41-48.


Zulkhernain, N.S.; Teo, S.H.; Patel, V.; Tan, P.J. Zebrafish: Predictive model for targeted cancer therapeutics from nature. Curr. Cancer Drug Targets, 2014, 14(8), 764-773.


Rajasegaran, T.; Jeevanaraj, P.; Rusdi, N.A.; Yu, K.X.; Hashim, Z.; Kue, C.S. Acute toxicity and teratogenic impacts of construction waste runoff on zebrafish embryo. Int J. Med. Toxicol. Legal. Med., 2018, 21(3-4), 11-14.


Schuermann, A.; Helker, C.S.; Herzog, W. Angiogenesis in zebrafish. Semin. Cell Dev. Biol., 2014, 31, 106-114.


Tavares, B.; Lopes, S.S. The importance of Zebrafish in biomedical research. Acta Med. Port., 2013, 26(5), 583-592.


Peterson, R.T.; Link, B.A.; Dowling, J.E.; Schreiber, S.L. Small molecule developmental screens reveal the logic and timing of vertebrate development. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A., 2000, 97(24), 12965-12969.


Rusdi, N.A.; Kue, C.S.; Yu, K.X.; Lau, B.F.; Chung, L.Y.; Kiew, L.V. Assessment of potential anticancer activity of brown seaweed compounds using zebrafish phenotypic assay. Nat. Prod. Commun., 2019, 14(6), 1934578X19857909.


Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Test No. 236: Fish Embryo Acute Toxicity (FET) Test, OECD Guidelines for Testing of Chemicals, Section 2. Paris: OECD Publishing; 2013.


Villanueva, G.R.; Abarca, V.R.; Vera, L.P. Chemical compounds and biological activity of an extract from Bougainvillea x buttiana(var. Rose) holttum and standl. Int. J. Pharm. Pharm. Sci., 2017, 9(3), 42-46.


Belair, C.D.; Peterson, R.E.; Heideman W. Disruption of erythropoiesis by dioxin in the zebrafish. Dev. Dyn., 2001, 222(4), 581-594.


Mishra, N.; Tandon, V.L. Haematological effects of aqueous extract of ornamental plants in male swiss albino mice. Vet. World, 2012, 5(1), 19-23.


Gallardo, V.E.; Varshney G.K.; Lee, M.; Bupp, S.; Xu, L.; Shinn, P.; Crawford, N.P.; Inglese, J.; Burgess, S.M. Phenotypedriven chemical screening in zebrafish for compounds that inhibit collective cell migration identifies multiple pathways potentially involved in metastatic invasion. Dis. Models Mech., 2015, 8(6), 565-576.

Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interest.
Back to top
INNOSC Theranostics and Pharmacological Sciences, Electronic ISSN: 2705-0823 Published by AccScience Publishing