Estrogenic effect of Erythrina variegata L. in prepubertal female rats
Alcoholic extract of Erythrina variegata L. leaves was evaluated by uterotrophic assay in 17 day old prepubertal female rats and was chromatographically processed for compound isolation. The animals divided into 3 (n=6) groups were treated for 7 days as follows: Control group (Grp I) –vehicle, 0.5% Na CMC, 5 mL/kg bw p.o, E. variegata alcohol extract group (Grp II) – 250 mg/kg bw/day in vehicle p.o., Ethinyl estradiol group (Grp III) - 30μg/kg bw/day in vehicle, p.o. 24 h post last exposure to extract. Animals were sacrificed and the uterus and ovaries examined for classical morphological and histomorphometric changes induced by estrogen stimulation. Extract treatment increased the absolute and normalized uterine weight, uterine diameter, endometrial thickness, luminal epithelial cell height, diameter of ovary and the number of primary and secondary ovarian follicles relative to vehicle control. Presence of ciliated epithelial cells in the oviduct and signs of vascularization in the cortex of ovarian sections in this group similar to EEG is indicative of estrogenic activity of the tested extract. This is consequent to the antioxidant activity of β-sitosterol, daucosterol and oleanolic isolated from the extract. This study supports the earlier reported hypolipidaemic and anti-atherosclerotic activities, lending scientific validity to anti-obesity claims in traditional medicine.
β-sitosterol, Daucosterol, Erythrina variegata, Estrogenic activity, Fabaceae, Oleanolic acid
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