The effect of a special herbal tea on obesity and anovulation in androgen-sterilized rats

Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 2000 Mar;223(3):295-301. doi: 10.1177/153537020022300312.


A special herbal tea has been used to treat clomiphene-resistant anovulatory disease and obesity effectively, especially in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) cases with hyperinsulinemia. The effect of the herbal tea on obesity and anovulation was investigated in androgen-sterilized rats (ASR). The ASR model was established by subcutaneous injection of 1.25 mg testosterone propionate to Sprague-Dawley female rats at the age of 9 days. Rats were sacrificed around 112 days of age. ASR manifested with PCO, anovulation, high food intake, elevated body weight, and obesity. Immunocytochemistry demonstrated that estrogen receptors (ER) were predominantly distributed in the cytoplasm of neuropeptide Y (NPY)-containing neurons in the preoptic area (POA), and the coexpression was also found in the nuclei and fibers of NPY-synthesizing neurons in the arcuate nucleus (ARC). Compared with that in normal control rats, NPY expression was increased, the numbers of ER in hypothalamic ARC-median eminence (ME) decreased, gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) levels in ME was decreased, serum estrogen (E2) and leptin were elevated, and follicular stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) levels were reduced significantly in ASR. Significantly negative correlations between NPY and ER or GnRH, and between leptin and FSH or LH were observed. A positive correlation existed between serum leptin and body weight. These metabolic-endocrine changes in ASR were normalized after feeding the herbal tea. Both obesity and hypogonadotropin were expressed in ASR. The abnormal ovarian hormone milieu (elevated E2 levels) may have enhanced NPY expression and resulted in less GnRH and gonadotropin secretion. The herbal tea reduced body weight and induced ovulation in ASR.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anovulation / prevention & control*
  • Arcuate Nucleus of Hypothalamus / drug effects
  • Arcuate Nucleus of Hypothalamus / metabolism
  • Beverages*
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal*
  • Female
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone / metabolism
  • Median Eminence / drug effects
  • Median Eminence / metabolism
  • Neuropeptide Y / metabolism
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Preoptic Area / drug effects
  • Preoptic Area / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, Estrogen / metabolism
  • Sterilization, Reproductive
  • Testosterone


  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Neuropeptide Y
  • Plant Extracts
  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • Testosterone