Objective. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common and multifactorial disease associated with female factor infertility. Ulmus minor bark (UMB) is one of the medicinal plants used in Persian folklore as a fertility enhancer. In the current study, we aimed to elucidate the effect of UMB hydro-alcoholic extract on histological parameters and testosterone condition in an experimental model of PCOS rats.
Methods. Thirty female rats were randomly divided into five groups: (1) control, (2) vehicle, (3) PCOS/50 mg [6 mg/kg dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) + 50 mg/kg UMB hydro-alcoholic extract], (4) PCOS/150 mg (6 mg/kg DHEA + 150 mg/kg UMB hydro-alcoholic extract), and (5) PCOS (6 mg/kg DHEA). All interventions were performed for 21 days. Afterwards, stereological analysis was done for determination of ovarian volume and follicle number. The serum level of testosterone was measured by ELISA kit.
Results. UMB hydro-alcoholic extract improved the total number of the corpus luteum in the treatment groups when compared to the PCOS group (p<0.05). PCOS/150 mg and PCOS/50 mg groups showed significantly lower total number of the primordial, primary, and secondary follicles as well as testosterone level compared to the PCOS group (p<0.05). The total number of antral follicles and volume of ovary did not differ significantly between groups.
Conclusion. UMB extract may be an effective and good alternative in improving PCOS histo-logical and testosterone disturbances although further studies are warranted to confirm the safety of UMB plant in human.