Role of ashwagandha methanolic extract in the regulation of thyroid profile in hypothyroidism modeled rats

Mol Biol Rep. 2019 Aug;46(4):3637-3649. doi: 10.1007/s11033-019-04721-x. Epub 2019 Jun 15.


This study aimed to evaluate the anti-hypothyroidism potential of ashwagandha methanolic extract (AME). This target was performed through induction of animal model of hypothyroidism by propylthiouracil. After 1 month from treatments, blood samples were collected for biochemical determinations, and liver and kidney were removed for the determination of oxidative stress markers and thyroid gland was removed for histopathological examination. The total phenolic compounds in the extract and the in vitro radical scavenging activity of extract were also determined. The results revealed that the induction of hypothyroidism by propylthiouracil induced a significant increase in serum TSH level but it induced significant decreases in the levels of total T3, free T3, free T4, and total T4 hormones compared with the control values. Also, serum glucose, Il-6, and body weight gain increased significantly while Il-10 and blood hemoglobin levels showed significant decrease. Induction of hypothyroidism increased also the levels of hepatic and renal MDA and NO and decreased significantly the values of GSH, GPx and Na+/ K+-ATPase. Both AME and the anti-hypothyroidism drug significantly ameliorated the changes occurred in the levels of the above parameters and improved histological picture of thyroid gland but with different degrees; where ashwagandha methanolic extract showed the strongest effect. We can conclude that ashwagandha methanolic extract treatment improves thyroid function by ameliorating thyroid hormones and by preventing oxidative stress.

Keywords: Antioxidant; Ashwagandha; Histopathology; Hypothyroidism.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / metabolism
  • Hemoglobins / metabolism
  • Hypothyroidism / blood
  • Hypothyroidism / drug therapy*
  • Hypothyroidism / metabolism
  • Hypothyroidism / pathology
  • Interleukin-10 / blood
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / pathology
  • Malondialdehyde / metabolism
  • Methanol
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Propylthiouracil
  • Rats
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase / metabolism
  • Thyroid Gland / cytology
  • Thyroid Gland / drug effects
  • Thyroid Gland / metabolism
  • Thyroid Gland / pathology
  • Thyroid Hormones / blood*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Hemoglobins
  • Il6 protein, rat
  • Interleukin-6
  • Plant Extracts
  • Thyroid Hormones
  • Interleukin-10
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Propylthiouracil
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase
  • Glutathione
  • Ashwagandha
  • Methanol