Relevance of an opioid, noscapine in reducing cystogeneses in rat experimental model of polycystic ovary syndrome

J Endocrinol Invest. 2009 Nov;32(10):837-43. doi: 10.1007/BF03345755. Epub 2009 Jul 17.


Aim: Owing to grave socio-medical consequences, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a highly alarming endocrinopathy. For searching better therapeutics for PCOS, we present a rat model for PCOS using antiprogestin RU486 and evaluate the efficacy of noscapine for its treatment.

Material and methods: Female Wistar rats weighing 200+/-10 g bwt, exhibiting regular estrous cycle were administered an oral dose of RU486 [20 mg/kg body weight (bwt)/day] in olive oil for 13 consecutive days and compared with controls receiving 0.1 ml olive oil/100 g bwt/day. PCOS induced rats were administered varying dosing regimens of noscapine and were further compared with flutamide, the conventional drug for PCOS. Consecutively, vaginal smears and ovulation was noted and rats from all the groups were sacrificed and serum hormone levels for LH, FSH, PRL, estradiol, and testosterone were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Uteri and ovaries were excised free of adjacent tissue, weighed and further recruited for ascertaining ovary histologic parameters.

Results: Our data go in accordance with previous studies where RU486 administered rats mimicked classical PCOS parameters seen in women. PCOS induced rats with ovulation blockade, persistent estrus and polycystic ovary resumed estrous cycle in 3-4 days post noscapine administration (120 mg/kg bwt/day). Folliculogenesis was followed by ovulation with reduced cystic manifestation and restored ovary and uterus weight. Biochemically, serum LH, PRL, estradiol, and testosterone concentration showed reduction while FSH and progesterone concentration increased significantly when compared with the conventional drug flutamide.

Discussion: The amelioration of PCOS by noscapine is a novel observation that makes it a potential candidate for being a better therapeutic modality.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics, Opioid / therapeutic use
  • Androgen Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Cysts / blood
  • Cysts / chemically induced
  • Cysts / drug therapy*
  • Cysts / pathology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Estradiol / blood
  • Estrous Cycle / drug effects
  • Female
  • Flutamide / therapeutic use
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / blood
  • Hormone Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Luteinizing Hormone / blood
  • Mifepristone / pharmacology*
  • Noscapine / therapeutic use*
  • Organ Size
  • Ovary / drug effects
  • Ovary / pathology
  • Ovulation / drug effects
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / blood
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / chemically induced
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / pathology
  • Prolactin / blood
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Testosterone / blood
  • Uterus / drug effects
  • Uterus / pathology


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Androgen Antagonists
  • Hormone Antagonists
  • Mifepristone
  • Testosterone
  • Estradiol
  • Flutamide
  • Noscapine
  • Prolactin
  • Luteinizing Hormone
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone