The Potential Impact of Radix Paeoniae Alba in Embryonic Development of Mice

Wei Xu, Ling Xu, Bin Deng, Jing Leng, Nong Tang, Li Chun Zhao, Hong Hai Zhou, Zhongzhen ZHAO, Zhijun YANG, Ting Ting Xiao, Xiao Ying TIAN, Alan H.M. Ho, Nickie W.K. Chan, Yeuk Lung Chow, Chi Yi Chow, Min XU*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Although Radix Paeoniae Alba (RPA) has been ranked as one of the top 6 herbs used frequently to prevent and treat miscarriages clinically, there is no clear evidence regarding its safety in embryonic development. This study aims to evaluate the potential impacts of RPA on embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and pregnant mice. Cytotoxicity assays of the extract were performed in ESCs and 3T3 cells. Pregnant ICR mice were orally treated with RPA extracts at dosages of 0 (G1 group as negative controls), 2, 8 and 32 g/kg/day (G2, G3 and G4 groups) respectively from the gestation day (Gd) 6–15. On Gd 18, there was no significant difference in the IC50 values between ESCs and 3T3 cells (p > 0.05). There was no significant difference in the maternal and fetal evaluations among four groups (p > 0.05). Fetal IL-2, IL-2r, TNF-α, TNF-αr, IL-4, IL-4r, IL-10r, IL-17 and IL-17r of G4 group were significantly lower than G1 group (p < 0.05). In conclusion, RPA at dosage of 32 g/kg/day (16-folds of human daily dosage) did not cause adverse impact in cultured ESCs and pregnant mice. RPA might down-regulate fetal Th1/Th2/Th17 cytokines and receptors maybe beneficial to embryonic survival and development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1376-1383
Number of pages8
JournalPhytotherapy Research
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Pharmacology

User-Defined Keywords

  • embryonic development
  • embryonic safety
  • embryonic stem cell
  • mouse
  • Radix Paeoniae Alba
  • Th1/Th2/Th17 cytokine


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