African Journal of Biotechnology

Log in or Register to get access to full text downloads.

Remember me or Register

Studies of Copaifera luetzelburgii Harms in reproductive pharmacology: In vivo and in vitro approaches

JBBS Muller, RM Fernandes, MCS Batista, ER Moura, RVP Silva, ES Ferreira-Filho, RCM Oliveira, MZLCM Fernandes


The objective of this study was to evaluate the estrogenic and anti-estrogenic actions, as well as the reproductive and foetal toxicity, of the ethanol extract from Copaifera luetzelburgii (EEtOH-Cl). In the experiment of (anti) estrogenicity, nulliparous Wistar rats were treated for 3 days with EEtOH-Cl (125, 250 and 500 mg/kg); estradiol (E, 5 μg/kg); E + EEtOH-Cl; tamoxifen (T, 4mg/kg). This extract presented estrogenic activity by increasing the relative weight (%) of the uterus of rats treated at doses of 125, 250 and 500 mg/kg (0.267 ± 0.016*, 0.231 ± 0.014*, 0.242 ± 0.015*), and it showed anti-estrogenic activity when associated with estradiol (0.116 ± 0.006*, 0.103 ± 0.06*, 0.098 ± 0.05*), respectively. For assessment of toxicity in pregnancy, the animals were divided into two groups and treated daily with EEtOH-Cl. In the first group, the effect of the extract on the development of pregnancy from first to seventh day was observed, and in the second group, from 8 to 21 days, there was no change of these parameters or the viability of the progeny when the study assessed reproductive and foetal toxicity; however, there was shortening of pregnancy (125 mg/kg) without affecting the progeny. In the in vitro study, uterine strips of pregnant (P) and non-pregnant (NP) females were used. In both groups, half received EEtOH-Cl (vo) for 13 days (treated females - T), and the other half received EEtOH-Cl directly to the isolated organ bath system (untreated - NT). In vitro study on the uterus of pregnant animals pretreated with doses of 250 and 500 mg/kg showed that there was inhibition of KCl 80-induced phasic contractions (0.490 ± 0.110, 0.540 ± 0.092), respectively. Also, the contractions induced by oxytocin were inhibited at a dose of 500 mg/kg (0.380 ± 0.109). In non-pregnant, non-treated females, the extract at a concentration of 125 μg/mL (0.180 ± 0.062) also inhibited the contractions induced by oxytocin. Thus, EEtOH-Cl demonstrated estrogenic activity, but when combined with estradiol, it demonstrated anti-estrogenic activity. It did not induce toxicity in the progenitors or in the progeny, and it inhibited isometric contractions induced by oxytocin and KCl 80 mM in pregnant and non-pregnant rats.

Keywords: Copaifera luetzelburgii, (anti-)estrogenicity, reproductive toxicity, phasic contractions

African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 12(24), pp. 3864-3871

AJOL African Journals Online