Effects of Carthamus tinctorius L. on the ovarian histomorphology and the female reproductive hormones in mice

Document Type: Original Research Article

Authors

1 Department of Basic Sciences, Faculty of Para-Veterinary Medicine, University of Ilam, Ilam, I.R. Iran

2 Department of Fisheries, Faculty of Marine Natural Resources, Khorramshahr University of Marine Science and Technology, Khorramshahr I.R. Iran

Abstract

Objective: Carthamus tinctorius L. (Safflower) is a member of the asteraceae family which had been classified as a fertility regulator in the traditional medicine. The purpose of this study was to investigate its possible effects on the ovarian histomorphology and the levels of female reproductive hormones in the mice.
Materials and Methods: Sixty adult female Balb/C mice were selected and randomly divided into one control and three experimental groups (n= 15). The control group received only distilled water, while experimental groups were administered intraperitoneally C. tinctorius extract at doses of  0.7, 1.4, and 2.8 mg/kg/day for 49 consecutive days. In the end of experiments, blood samples were collected and the sera were analyzed for the levels of FSH, LH, estrogen, and progesterone. Ovarian tissue samples were also taken and histomorphological changes of the ovaries were examined using optical microscope. The quantitative results were statistically analyzed by one-way ANOVA test.
Results: The present findings showed that treatment with different concentrations of C. tinctorius extract reduced the number of ovarian follicles but number of atretic follicles showed an increase. The number and size of the corpora lutea were not affected by extract administration. In addition, in the treated mice with C. tinctorius extract, the thickness of the tunica albuginea was increased but the relative and absolute weights of the ovaries decreased significantly. Furthermore, the blood levels of the FSH and estrogen were decreased in the three experimental groups compared with those of the control animals.
Conclusion: The present findings indicated that treatment with C. tinctorius extract has detrimental effects on the ovarian histomorphology and female reproductive hormones therefore popular consumption of this plant should be reconsidered.

Keywords


Kumar D, Kumar A, Prakash O. 2012. Potential antifertility agents from plants: A comprehensive review. J Ethnopharmacol 140: 1-32.

Siddiqi EH, Ashraf M, Hussain M, Jamil A. 2009. Assessment of intercultivar variation for salt tolerance in safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) using gas exchange characteristics as selection criteria. Pak J Bot, 41: 2251-2559.

Elias S, Basil S, Kafka R. 2002. Response of safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) to saline soils and irrigation: I. consumptive water use. Agric water manag, 54: 67.

Mass EV. 1986. Salt tolerance of plants. Appl Agric Res, 1: 12-26.

Jun MS, Ha YM, Kim HS, Jang HJ, Kim YM, Lee YS, Kim HJ, Seo HG, Lee JH, Lee SH, Chang KC. 2011. Anti-inflammatory action of methanol extract of Carthamus tinctorius involves in heme oxygenase-1 induction. J Ethnopharmacol, 133: 524-530.

Loo WT, Cheung MN, Chow LW. 2004. The inhibitory effect of a herbal formula comprising ginseng and Carthamus tinctorius on breast cancer. Life Sci, 76: 191-200.

Tien YC, Lin JY, Lai CH, Kuo CH, Lin WY, Tsai CH, Tsai FJ, Cheng YC, Peng WH, Huang CY. 2010. Carthamus tinctorius L. prevents LPS-induced TNF alpha signaling activation and cell apoptosis through JNK 1/2-NF kappa B pathway inhibition in H9c2 cardiomyoblast cells. J Ethnopharmacol, 130: 505-513.

Zhang HZ, Dong ZH, She J. 1998. Modern study of traditional Chinese medicine. Xue Yuan Press Beijing China, 3: 2057.

Wang G, Li Y. 1985. Clinical application of safflower (Carthamus tinctorius) [in Chinese]. Zhejiang. J Trad Chinese Med, 20: 42-43.

Louei Monfared A, Salati AP. 2012.The effects of Carthamus tinctorius L. on placental histomorphology and survival of the neonates in mice. Avicenna J Med Phytomed, 2: 146-152.

Nobakht M, Fattahi M, Hoormand M, Milanian I, Rahbar N, Mahmoudian M. 2000. A study on the teratogenic and cytotoxic effects of safflower extract. J Ethnopharmacol, 73: 453-459.

Yin XJ, Liu D, Wang H, Zhou Y. 1991. A study on the mutagenicity of 102 raw pharmaceuticals used in Chinese traditional medicine. Mutation Res, 260: 73-82.

Mirhoseini M, Mohamadpour M, Khorsandi L. 2012.Toxic effects of Carthamus tinctorius L. (Safflower) extract on mouse spermatogenesis. J Assist Reprod Genet, 29: 457-461

Chen XW, Serag ES, Sneed KB, Zhou SF. 2011. Herbal bioactivation, molecular targets and the toxicity relevance. Chem Biol Interact, 192:161-176.

Eisenberg DM, Davis RB, Ettner SL, Appel S, Wilkey S, Van Rompay M, Kessler RC. 1998. Trend in alternative medicine use in the United State, 1990-1997: results of a follow-up national survey. J Am Med Assoc, 280: 1569-1575.

Ernst E. 2002. Herbal medicinal products during pregnancy: are they save? Int J Obstet and Gynaeo, 109: 227-235.

Roy SK, Albee L. 2000. Requirement for follicle-stimulating hormone action in the formation of primordial follicles during perinatal ovarian development in the hamster. Endocrinol, 141: 4449-4456.

Hsueh AJW, Billig H, Tsafriri A. 1994. Ovarian follicle atresia: a hormonally controlled apoptotic process. Endocr Rev, 15: 707-724.

Petyim S, Båge R, Forsberg M and Rodríguez-Martínez H. 2001. Effects of repeated follicular punctures on ovarian morphology and endocrine parameters in dairy heifers. J Vet Med A Physiol Pathol Clin Med, 48: 449-463.

Ryzhavskiĭ BIa, Smirenina IV, Shapiro EP. 2003. Comparative morphofunctional characteristics of the ovaries in women of reproduction age in the norm and with chronic anovulatory infertility. Morfologiia, 124: 73-77.

Van Thiel DH, Gavaler JS, Lester R. 1977. Ethanol: a gonadal toxin in the female. Drug Alcohol Depend, Sep-Nov, 2: 373-380.

Li F, Hai-Yu Z, Man X, Lei Z, Hui G, Jian H, Bao-Rong W, De-An G. 2009. Qualitative evaluation and quantitative determination of 10 major active components in Carthamus tinctorius L. by high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with diode array detector. J Chromat A, 1216: 2063-2070.

Yoo HH, Park JH, Kwon SW. 2006. An anti-estrogenic lignin glycoside, tracheloside from seeds of Carthamus tinctorius. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem, 70: 2783-2785.