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The reproductive toxicity of saponins isolated from Cortex Albiziae in female mice

Yang SHU, Mei CAO, Zhong-Qiong YIN, Ping LI, Tai-Qiang LI, Xing-Fa LONG, Lian-Fa ZHU, Ren-Yong JIA, Shu-Jun DAI, Jian ZHAO
Chinese journal of natural medicines 2015 v.13 no.2 pp. 119-126
Oriental traditional medicine, adverse effects, animal ovaries, cortex, females, fetal death, histopathology, mice, pregnancy rate, reproductive toxicology, saponins, teratogenicity, toxicity testing, uterus
Saponin frsom Cortex Albiziae (SCA) are extensively used in the clinical treatment of tumor and depression. However, SCA may cause several adverse effects, including reproductive toxicity. The present study was designed to assess the mechanism by which SCA cause reproductive toxicity in female mice. The general reproductive toxicity testing was accomplished in female Kunming mice. The animals were divided into four groups: three groups that were treated by oral gavage with 135, 270, and 540 mg·kg⁻¹·d⁻¹ of SCA prepared in physiological saline, respectively, and one vehicle control group that was treated with physiological saline only. The gestational toxicity tests were conducted at 540 mg·kg⁻¹·d⁻¹. The general reproductive toxicity results showed that the pregnancy rate of the SCA-treated group decreased with the pregnancy rate being decreased by 70% at 540 mg·kg⁻¹·d⁻¹. SCA elicited maternal toxicity in the ovary and the uterus, but no fetal toxicity or teratogenicity was observed. The rates of implantation in the early, middle, and late pregnancy were all decreased, with stillbirths and maternal deaths being observed. Histopathological changes showed that SCA adversely affected the ovary and the uterus. In conclusion, SCA-induced reproductive toxicity in female mice is most likely caused by its damage to the ovary and the uterus.