Int. J. Morphol.,
Analysis of Fetal and Placental Development in Rats after
Administration of Hydroalcoholic Extract from the Root of
Petiveria alliacea L. (Phytolaccaceae)
Análisis del Desarrollo Fetal y Placenta en Ratas Después de la Administración
de Extracto Hidroalcohólico de la Raíz de Petiveria alliacea L. (Phytolaccaceae)
*Carina Scanoni Maia; **Valéria Wanderley Teixeira; **Álvaro Aguiar Coelho Teixeira & *Nicodemos Teles Pontes Filho
MAIA, C. S.; WANDERLEY-TEIXEIRA, V.; TEIXEIRA, A. A. C. & PONTES FILHO, N. T. Analysis of fetal and placental development in
rats after administration of hydroalcoholic extract from the root of Petiveria alliacea L. (Phytolaccaceae). Int. J. Morphol., 28(1):165-169, 2010.
SUMMARY: We investigated the effect of hydroalcoholic extract the Petiveria alliacea root on fetal and placental development
female rats pregnancy. Thirty female rats were mated and divided in groups: I - rats treated with placebo and sacrificed on the 7th day; II - rats
treated with hydroalcoholic extract and sacrificed on the 7th day; III - rats treated with placebo and sacrificed on the 14th day; IV - rats treated
with hydroalcoholic extract and sacrificed on the 14th day; V - rats treated with placebo for analysis of the offspring; VI - rats treated with
hydroalcoholic extract for analysis of the offspring. The extract was administered by gavage in the dosage of 18mg/kg body wt., in 5th day of
pregnancy. The implantation sites and placenta were fixed in Bouin and processed for the embedding in paraffin. The offspring were weighed,
measured and counted. The hydroalcoholic extract of the root of the P. alliacea causes significant reduction in the number of implantation sites,
but do not cause histological alterations in these sites and placenta. No alterations in the number, length and weight have been observed in
offspring. Our results suggest that the hydroalcoholic extract from the P. alliacea in the dosage of 18mg/kg body wt., administered to female
rats, on the 5th day of pregnancy, only cause a retard in the implantation process.
KEY WORDS: Petiveria alliacea; Uterus; Placenta; Hydroalcoholic extract.
The Petiveria alliacea L. (Phytolaccaceae), is a
herbaceous plant, widely distributed in Brazil and was very
important in the period of slavery, because the slaves already
knew their toxic and sedative effects, giving it the significant
name of "to tame the master", but is also known as guinea
(Corrêa, 1984). In several regions of the world is popularly
used as antispasms, diuretic and diaphoretic, being used as
a weak infusion of the leaves or roots against hydropsy,
arthritis, rheumatism, malaria, poor memory and to induce
abortion (Mors et al., 2000). It also presents antinociceptive
action (Gomes et al., 2005), and analgesic anti inflammatory
(Lopes-Martins et al., 2002) and hypoglycemic (García-
Gonzalez et al., 2006).
Several studies have shown some properties of the
extract of P. alliacea. The hydroalcoholic extract is popularly
used as vermifuge, also showed antiviral activity (Ruffa et
al., 2002). But the aqueous extract of leaves of the plant
* Program of Graduate Studies in General Patology, Department of Patology, University Federal of Pernambuco – UFPE. Recife-Brasil
** Program of Graduate Studies in Animal Bioscience, Department of Morfology and Fisiology Animal, University Federal Rural de Pernambuco-UFRPE. Recife-Brasil.
presents activity gastroprotective (Cortez et al., 1998),
hematopoietic (Quadros et al., 1999) however, may be
hepatotoxic (Torres et al., 2007).
Peters et al. (1988), studying the effect of various
doses of extracts from the leaves of P. alliace in pregnant
rats, found that the hydroalcoholic extract (18mg/kg) has
zigotoxic and anti-implantation effect, and that the water-
soluble fraction (20mg/kg) has abortifacient effect. Already
Guerra et al. (1989) observed that the aqueous effects of
extract of the roots (200mg/kg) and leaves (100mg/kg) have
anti-implantation effect, while the stem (100mg/kg) seems
to have zigotoxic effect. However, no reports in the literature
on the histological aspects the endometrium and blastocyst
interaction, and its possible teratogenic effect on the
offspring. Thus, we investigated the effect of the
hydroalcoholic extract in rats on fetal and placental
development during pregnancy.