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Prized for its many therapeutic virtues, Sarcocephalus latifolius (Smith) is a rubiaceae whose roots alone or in combination with the leaves are used in the treatment of infertility and genital diseases. In the search for mechanisms of action of natural substances, uterotrophic bioassay is essential and frequently used. Thus, ovariectomized impubere female rats received during 7 days, 250; 500 and 1000 mg/kg body weight of aqueous leaves extract of Sarcocephalus latifolius and 0, 02 mg/kg body weight (BW) ethinyl estradiol. Variation in animal body weight, vaginal opening, uterine horns, cervix and adrenal glands weights, as well as serum levels of proteins, cholesterol and glucose were assessed. Treatment of the animals at the different doses of extract produced no significant (p> 0.05) change in the parameters studied. Only the dose of 1000 mg / kg body weight extract induced a significant (p <0.001) vaginal opening. Administration of ethinyl estradiol to ovariectomized female rats resulted in a significant (p <0.001) reduction in body weight variation, serum protein and cholesterol levels, as well as a significant increase (p <0.001) in the vaginal opening, the uterine horns and cervix weights, and serum glucose. Similarly, the combination of ethinyl estradiol with the different doses of Sarcocephalus latifolius extract produced the same significant effects (p <0.001) as previously mentioned in the treated female rats compared to the controls. However, only the variation in body weight, vaginal opening and serum cholesterol levels in these animals decreased significantly (p <0.05, p <0.01 and p <0.001) with regard to those treated with ethinyl estradiol. These results would assume that the aqueous extract of leaves of Sarcocephalus latifolius would possess estrogen-like properties or would act on the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis.
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