Stereological investigation of the effect of Elaeagnus angustifolia fruit hydroalcoholic extract on osteoporosis in ovariectomized rats

Document Type : Original Research Article


1 Department of Endocrinology, Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 Department of Anatomy, Histomorphometry and Stereology Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

3 Department of pharmacology, Stem Cell and Transgenic Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

4 Researcher in Central Research Laboratory, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

5 Researcher in Health Policy Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran


Objective: Postmenopausal osteoporosis is characterized by increased fracture risk. However, each approved treatment has specific side effects. Therefore, foods with plant origins have increasingly attracted attention as an alternative treatment. Studies have shown that Elaeagnus angustifolia (EA) has antioxidant properties. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of EA hydroalcoholic extract on ovariectomy-induced osteoporosis in rats using stereological methods. 
Material and Methods: 55 female Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned to control, sham operated (normal saline), ovariectomized (OVX), OVX + EA fruit extract (600 mg/kg BW/day), and OVX + estradiol benzoate (3 mg/kg BW) for 16 weeks. Blood samples were collected to measure calcium, phosphorus, and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) plasma levels. Then, specimens from tibia and fifth lumbar vertebra (L5) bones were prepared and stereological analysis was done.
Results: Ovariectomy significantly decreased the calcium level and increased the ALP level in the OVX group. In spite of improvement in calcium hemostasis in groups treated with estrogen and EA fruit extract (p<0.05), only treatment with estrogen was able to reduce ALP levels. Moreover, treatment with EA fruit extract and estrogen caused a significant increase in the number of osteoblasts in vertebra and tibia compared to the OVX group (p<0.05). Estrogen and EA fruit extract were also able to reduce the number of osteoclasts in tibia of the treated OVX rats (p<0.05).
Conclusion: The results showed that EA extract exerted more effects, markedly, on osteoblastogenesis in the OVX rats. Thus, it could be considered as a potential agent to treat patients with osteoporosis.


Main Subjects

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