Shaofu Zhuyu Decoction Regresses Endometriotic Lesions in a Rat Model

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2018 Jan 30:2018:3927096. doi: 10.1155/2018/3927096. eCollection 2018.


The current therapies for endometriosis are restricted by various side effects and treatment outcome has been less than satisfactory. Shaofu Zhuyu Decoction (SZD), a classic traditional Chinese medicinal (TCM) prescription for dysmenorrhea, has been widely used in clinical practice by TCM doctors to relieve symptoms of endometriosis. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of SZD on a rat model of endometriosis. Forty-eight female Sprague-Dawley rats with regular estrous cycles went through autotransplantation operation to establish endometriosis model. Then 38 rats with successful ectopic implants were randomized into two groups: vehicle- and SZD-treated groups. The latter were administered SZD through oral gavage for 4 weeks. By the end of the treatment period, the volume of the endometriotic lesions was measured, the histopathological properties of the ectopic endometrium were evaluated, and levels of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), CD34, and hypoxia inducible factor- (HIF-) 1α in the ectopic endometrium were detected with immunohistochemistry. Furthermore, apoptosis was assessed using the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT) deoxyuridine 5'-triphosphate (dUTP) nick-end labeling (TUNEL) assay. In this study, SZD significantly reduced the size of ectopic lesions in rats with endometriosis, inhibited cell proliferation, increased cell apoptosis, and reduced microvessel density and HIF-1α expression. It suggested that SZD could be an effective therapy for the treatment and prevention of endometriosis recurrence.