Animal Studies

Largehead Atractylodes Rhizoma

Largehead Atractylodes Rhizome (LAR) is the most commonly used Chinese medicine to prevent early pregnancy loss due to threatened miscarriage. But its safety profile during pregnancy is still not available. In order to identify the potential adverse effects of LAR on embryo-fetal development as well as prenatal and post-natal growth. Pregnant mice were orally administered with LAT extracts in different doses for the whole gestational period and limb malformation was found. Neonates with skeleton anomalies were subjected to computerized tomography (CT) scanning and Alcian Blue–Alizarin Red skeletal staining. Extended adduction of left upper limb of another pup in whole gestational period was identified (A). CT scanning detected shortening of radius and the absence of ulna and oligodactyly in the malformed left upper limb (B). Skeleton staining demonstrated the losses of ulna and distal digits, and shortening of the humerus and radius in the malformed left upper limb (C). Smaller bone, lower trabecular density and enlarged cartilage cells suggested a delay in endochondral ossification, cartilage formation and development in the elbow of the left upper limb (D). References: Li L, Tang LY, Man GCW, Yeung BHY, Lau CBS, Leung PC, Wang CC. 2011. Potential reproductive toxicity of Largehead Atractylodes Rhizome, the most commonly used Chinese medicine for threatened miscarriage. Hum Reprod 26, 3280-3288.