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PLoS One. 2016 Nov 16;11(11):e0166059. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0166059. eCollection 2016.

Euterpe oleracea Extract (Açaí) Is a Promising Novel Pharmacological Therapeutic Treatment for Experimental Endometriosis.

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Unidade de Farmácia, Centro Universitário Estadual da Zona Oeste, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil.
Programa de Pós-Graduação em Saúde Pública e Meio Ambiente, Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública, Fundação Osvaldo Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil.
Departamento de Farmacologia e Psicobiologia, Universidade Estadual do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil.
Programa de Pós-Graduação em Biociências e Biotecnologia, Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense, Campos dos Goytacazes, RJ, Brasil.
Departamento de Farmácia, Universidade Federal do Pará, Belém, PA, Brasil.
Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil.


This study investigated the therapeutic potential of Euterpe oleracea extract (açaí) on the growth and survival of endometriotic lesions using an experimental model. Twenty female Sprague-Dawley rats were randomized into two groups after the implantation and establishment of autologous endometrium onto the peritoneum abdominal wall and treated with 200 mg/kg hydroalcoholic solution extract from açaí stone or vehicle via gastric tube for 30 consecutive days. Body weight, lesion surface areas, histological and immunohistochemistry analyses of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), VEGF receptor-2 (VEGFR-2), metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and F4-80 were performed. Levels of VEGF, VEGFR-2, MMP-9 and COX-2 mRNA were measured. Flow cytometry of F4-80 was performed, and ELISA immunoassays measured prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), VEGF and nitric oxide (NO) and concentrations. Macrophage cell line J774.G8 was treated with 10, 20, and 40 μg/mL of açaí for 24, 48 and 72 h, and cell viability was measured using 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assays. Açaí treatment significantly decreased the implant size, and histological examination indicated atrophy and regression. A reduction in immunostaining and mRNA expression of VEGF, MMP-9 and COX-2 was observed, and F4-80 was lower in the treated group than the control group. The treated group also exhibited lower concentrations of PGE2, VEGF and NO compared to the control group. Macrophages cells treated with 20 and 40 μg/ml of açaí reduced cell viability in about 50% after 24, 48 and 72 h. Our results suggest that açaí effectively suppressed the establishment and growth of endometriotic lesions, and this agent is a promising novel pharmacological therapeutic treatment for endometriosis.

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