Utilization of a chicken embryo membrane model for evaluation of embryonic vascular toxicity of Dorema ammoniacum

Document Type: Original Research Article


1 Department of Clinical Science, School of Veterinary Medicine, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran.

2 Diagnostic Laboratory Sciences and Technology Research Center, School of Paramedical Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

3 Center of Comparative and Experimental Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

4 Executive Secretary of Medical Ethics Committee, Vice-Chancellery of Research and Technology, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran


Objective: Extensive research has been done to assess the efficacy of herbs for treating different disorders. Dorema ammoniacum (D. ammoniacum) is used in folk medicines for various goals. The application of herbs in medicine is accompanied by harmful effects. Chick embryo is considered a suitable model for assessing drugs toxicity. The present study aimed to evaluate the changes in vasculature in chick’s extra-embryonic membrane following D. ammoniacum treatment. Alterations in molecular pathways associated with early embryonic angiogenesis such as vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) were also evaluated.
Materials and Methods: Fertile chicken (Ross 308) eggs were allocated into three similar groups; sham, control and D. ammoniacum groups; in D. ammoniacum group, eggs were inoculated with plant’s extract at doses of 50 or 100 mg per kg egg-weight.
Results: Analysis of the extra-embryonic membrane vasculature revealed that D. ammoniacum extract decreases some vascular parameters such as vessels area, total vessels length, vascular branch and increases lacunarity. This herb’s vascular toxicity was in a dose-dependent manner. Down-regulation of the expression of VEGF-A was also seen in the extract-treated extra-embryonic membrane.
Conclusion: Vascular toxicity of D. ammoniacum was confirmed by data presented in this paper. We conclude that alteration of vascular parameters and gene expression might finally lead to embryo malformation due to D. ammoniacum consumption. Therefore, the use of this herb must be limited during the fetal growth period especially at doses higher than 50 mg per kg.


Main Subjects

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