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J Tradit Chin Med. 2014 Jun;34(3):324-8.

Effect of roucongrong (Herba Cistanches Deserticolae) on reproductive toxicity in mice induced by glycoside of Leigongteng (Radix et Rhizoma Tripterygii).



The purpose of this research is to study the effect of Roucongrong (Herba Cistanches Deserticolae) on reproductive toxicity in mice induced by a glycoside extracted from Leigongteng (Radix et Rhizoma Tripterygii) (GRT).


Forty-eight BALB/c mice were randomly divided into two groups in the ratio of 1:3, 12 in one group and 36 in the other. The 12-mouse group was the control group that was intragastrically administered physiological saline for 3 weeks. The 36 mice in the other group were given 30 mg x kg(-1) x d(-1) GRT for 3 weeks, then randomly divided into 3 subgroups: the model group, GRT group and Roucongrong (Herba Cistanches Deserticolae) group, with 12 mice in each group. In the model group, 0.25 mL physiological saline was intragastrically administered; in the GRT group, GRT, 0.25 mL at 30 mg x kg(-1) x d(-1) was intragastrically administered once a day; in the Roucongrong (Herba Cistanches Deserticolae) group, mice were administered Roucongrong (Herba Cistanches Deserticolae) decoction equivalent to 0.25 mL at a final dose of 10 g x kg(-1) x d(-1) crude drug (calculated as per 20 times of 0.5 g x kg(-1) x d(-1) for adults), and GRT 0.25 mL at 30 mg x kg(-1) x d(-1) daily. After another 3 weeks of exposure, expression levels of the reproduction-related genes DEAD (Asp-Glu-Ala-Asp) box polypeptide 3, Y-linked, B-cell CLL/lymphoma 6 and Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 were evaluated.


After 6 weeks of GRT treatment, the spermatogenic cell population in the convoluted tubule of testis was in disorder and the tubule cavity expanded. Sertoli cell and Leydig cells exhibited atrophy or disappeared. The number of sperm decreased. The spermatogenic cell level of testis for male mice was ranked in order and sperm was produced in the cavity of the spermatogenic cell. The expression levels of DDX3Y, BCL6 and STAT3 were


GRT affected reproduction-related genes. Roucongrong (Herba Cistanches Deserticolae) reversed reproductive toxicity in mice induced by GRT.

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