The fern Nephrolepis exaltata (L.) Schott, fam. Nephrolepidaceae, has little traditional medicinal use. In order to estimate its potential safety, in the present study we have investigated the phytotoxicity (on Triticum aestivum L.) and toxicity on brine shrimp of extracts from plants grown hydroponically. The species identity was confirmed by macroscopic and microscopic examinations on rhizomes, rachises, pinnae and runners, using bright field and fluorescent microscopy. Biological assays were performed on aqueous and ethanol solutions of the fronds. The brine shrimp lethality assay was performed on Artemia franciscana Kellog and a phytobiological bioassay on Triticum aestivum L. Lethality, root elongation and karyokinetic film modifications were evaluated, and LC50 and IC50 values were calculated. The microscopic analysis revealed the main histo-anatomic elements: polystelic structure and hypodermis (rhizome, rachis, runners), trichomes (rachis), homogenous structure, trichomes and diacytic/anisocytic stomata (leaves). The ethanol and aqueous extracts showed low cytotoxic effects on both Triticum aestivum roots and Artemia franciscana nauplii.
1 Department of Fundamental Pharmaceutical Sciences, Discipline of Pharmaceutical Botany and Cellular Biology, The University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Carol Davila”, Bucharest, Romania
2 Department of Chemical Thermodynamics, The Institute of Physical Chemistry