Ruta graveolens aqueous extract retards mouse preimplantation embryo development

Jorge L. Gutiérrez-Pajares, Lidia Zúñiga, José Pino

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40 Scopus citations


This work was undertaken to examine possible embryotoxicity of Ruta graveolens (rue), a plant used by indigenous communities for the purposes of therapeutic and fertility regulation. Superovulated mice were mated and isolated after copulation. They were given aqueous extract of R. graveolens (5, 10, and 20% w/v) or plain water (control) orally for 4 days. Ninety-eight hours post-human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG), embryos were flushed from oviducts and uterine horns to assess their state of development and extent of embryo transport. Ingestion of rue at 10 and 20% resulted in a high proportion of abnormal embryos (36.7 and 63.6%, respectively, P < 0.05). Cell number was diminished (P < 0.01) and embryo transport was slightly delayed in the highest dose group. These findings demonstrate that oral administration of R. graveolens extract can interfere with preimplantation development and embryo transport.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)667-672
Number of pages6
JournalReproductive Toxicology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research supported by Consejo Superior de Investigación, UNMSM (Project No. 81001061). We are grateful to M.Sc. Esther Cox from the Laboratorio de Recursos Vegetales-Plantas Medicinales, Facultad de Ciencias Bio-lógicas, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, for authenticating the plant used in this work. We thank Dr. Horacio Croxatto from the Catholic University of Chile for his critical comments of the manuscript.


  • Cell number
  • Embryo
  • Embryo transport
  • Embryotoxicity
  • Mouse
  • Preimplantation
  • Rue
  • Ruta graveolens


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