Endopleura uchi (Huber) Cuatrec.: A medicinal plant for gynecological treatments – Reproductive toxicity assessment in zebrafish (Danio rerio)


Ethnopharmacological relevance

Endopleura uchi (Huber) Cuatrec. is a plant species from the Brazilian Amazon. The barks of this tree are used in folk medicine – mainly as a decoction – for dyslipidemia, uterine infection, fibroids, polycystic ovary, menstrual disorders, as a contraceptive and abortive agent, among others. However, the data available about its developmental toxicity are still insufficient.

Aim of the study: This study aimed to evaluate the reproductive toxicity and teratogenic effects in embryos from zebrafish treated with the hydroethanolic extract from the barks of Endopleura uchi (EEu).

Material and methods

Both sexes of zebrafish (Danio rerio) were treated with EEu, either through immersion (1.2, 2.5, and 5 mg/L) and orally (75, 200, and 500 mg/kg) over 21 consecutive days. Next, in these fishes were assessed the fertility and gonads’ histopathology; in their embryos were assessed teratogenesis, lethalities and heart rate in daily observations (24, 48, 72, and 96 hpf).


The phytochemical analysis of EEu through HPLC/MS shows bergenin as the major compounds. After 21 days of treatment were detected minor histopathological changes in parental fishes such as atretic oocytes, interstitial fibrosis, and decreased percentage of early vitellogenic oocytes, but without impairing the reproduction of treated animals (oral and immersion). However, as for the embryos, the frequency of malformation increased significantly in all the groups treated through immersion, and in the group treated orally with the highest concentration (500 mg/kg).


Based on the results, the EEu caused no adverse effects in the progenitors in both treatments (immersion and oral). However, it was observed that the concentrations 1.2, 2.5, and 5 mg/L (immersion), and the dose 500 mg/kg (oral) caused malformations in the offspring (F1 generation). These results emphasize the need for attention when using preparations from E. uchi, mainly for pregnant women. Further studies will be needed to compare its effects with the extract's major compound (bergenin).

Tradução livre:

Endopleura uchi (Huber) Cuatrec .: Planta medicinal para tratamentos ginecológicos - Avaliação da toxicidade reprodutiva em peixe-zebra (Danio rerio)

Endopleura uchi (Huber) Cuatrec. é uma espécie vegetal da Amazônia brasileira. As cascas desta árvore são usadas na medicina popular - principalmente como decocção - para dislipidemia, infecção uterina, miomas, ovário policístico, distúrbios menstruais, como agente contraceptivo e abortivo, entre outros. No entanto, os dados disponíveis sobre sua toxicidade no desenvolvimento ainda são insuficientes.

Objetivo do estudo: Este estudo teve como objetivo avaliar a toxicidade reprodutiva e efeitos teratogênicos em embriões de peixe-zebra tratado com extrato hidroetanólico das cascas de Endopleura uchi (EEu).

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