Background: Delayed fetal skeletal ossification is one of the known complications of maternal diabetes.
Objective: The present study was designed to evaluate the protective role of petroleum ether extract of Cissus quadrangularis (PECQ) on diabetes-induced delayed fetal skeletal ossification.
Materials and methods: Female Wistar rats were rendered diabetic with streptozotocin (STZ, 40 mg/kg, intraperitonial) before mating. After confirmation of pregnancy, the pregnant rats were divided into three groups: normal control group, diabetic control group, and diabetic + CQ group. The diabetic + CQ group pregnant rats were treated with PECQ (500 mg/kg body weight) throughout their gestation period. Immediately after delivery, pups were collected from all three groups and processed for alizarin red S-alcian blue staining in order to examine the pattern of skeletal ossification.
Results: Fewer ossification centers and decreased extent of ossification of forelimb and hindlimb bones were observed in the neonatal pups of diabetic control group as compared to those in the normal control group. PECQ pretreatment significantly restored the ossification centers and improved the extent of ossification of forelimb and hindlimb bones in the neonatal pups of diabetic + CQ group as compared to those in the diabetic control group.
Conclusions: The results suggested that PECQ treatment is effective against diabetes-induced delayed fetal skeletal ossification. However, further studies on the isolation and characterization of active constituents of PECQ, which can cross the placental barrier and are responsible for the bone anabolic activity are warranted.
Keywords: Alizarin red-alcian blue; Cissus quadrangularis; maternal diabetes; ossification centers; skeletal ossification; streptozotocin.