The effects of Boehmeria nivea (L.) Gaud. on embryonic development: In vivo and in vitro studies

Xiao Ying TIAN, Min XU*, Bin Deng, Kelvin S Y LEUNG, King Fai Cheng, Zhongzhen ZHAO, Shi Ping ZHANG, Zhijun YANG, Ping Xiang Deng, Dong Ying Xu, Xiao Ping Xu, Irene Koo, Michael Wong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Aim of the study: Boehmeria nivea (L.) Gaud. was commonly used to treat miscarriages clinically. The aim of this study was to examine its safety for embryonic development. Materials and methods: Pregnant mice were randomly assigned into 5 groups, i.e. mice were oral-treated with distilled water (G1), with Boehmeria nivea extract of 2, 8 or 32 g/kg/day (G2, G3 or G4), and with 3 doses of vitamin A of 200,000 IU/kg as positive controls (G5). Meanwhile, IC50 values for both embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and 3T3 cells were detected by cytotoxicity assays. Results: (1) The resorptions and malformed fetuses in G5 were significantly higher than G1 (P < 0.001), whereas the maternal body-weight and uterus-weight were lower than G1 (P < 0.05); (2) there was no difference in the fetal body-weight, maternal relative body-weight gain, liver-, kidney- or heart-weight, relative organ-weight, and histological examination among five groups; (3) there was no difference in IC50 values between ESCs and 3T3 cells, but high concentration of Boehmeria nivea extract might significantly lower ESCs' viability (P < 0.05). Conclusion: Boehmeria nivea extract at 32 g/kg/day did not cause significant embryotoxicity or maternal toxicity in mice, although it might cause cytotoxicity in cultured ESCs at a high dose.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-398
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Ethnopharmacology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2011

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery

User-Defined Keywords

  • Boehmeria nivea (L.) Gaud.
  • Developmental toxicity
  • Embryonic stem cell
  • Embryotoxicity
  • Mouse
  • Teratogenicity


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