The effect of lutein and Urtica dioica extract on in vitro production of embryo and oxidative status in polycystic ovary syndrome in a model of mice

BMC Complement Med Ther. 2021 Feb 8;21(1):55. doi: 10.1186/s12906-021-03229-x.


Background: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most prevalent endocrinopathies in women during the reproductive age. Herbal medicines are used increasingly alone or in supplement with chemical medicines for the treatment of different diseases and dysfunctions. This study was aimed to evaluate the effects of lutein and nettle (Urtica dioica) extract on the biochemical parameters and the reproductive function in the PCOS model of mice.

Methods: Following the induction of PCOS by dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), the mice (n = 98) were randomly assigned into seven groups, each consisting of fourteen mice; the groups were included control group (received solvent), PCOS group (received 6 mg/100 g B.W/day IP, DHEA for 21 days), PCOS+ Nettle extract (200 and 400 mg/kg), PCOS+ Lutein (125 and 250 mg/kg), and PCOS+ NL (200 mg/kg nettle extract and 125 mg/kg lutein). The nettle extract and lutein were administrated using gavage for 30 consecutive days after PCOS induction. Malondialdehyde (MDA), total antioxidant capacity (TAC), and estrogen were measured in serum, ovary, and uterus samples by the ELISA method. The total number of oocytes, oocyte quality, fertilization rate, 2-cell blastocyst, and arrested embryos (type I, type II, and type III) were also investigated.

Results: A combination treatment of the nettle and lutein produced the lowest concentration of MDA in comparison to other groups which affected by the PCOS. The lowest level of TAC was observed in the PCOS group without treatment. The number of oocytes, oocyte quality, fertilization rate, and 2-cell blastocyst were significantly higher in the control group, but the lowest values were observed in the PCOS group without any treatment.

Conclusions: The most favorable findings include improving antioxidant capacity, oocyte and embryo quality were observed in the PCOS+ 125 L group.

Keywords: Antioxidant; Embryo; Lutein; Mice; Nettle extract.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Embryo, Mammalian / drug effects
  • Estradiol / analysis
  • Female
  • Lutein / pharmacology*
  • Mice
  • Oocytes / drug effects
  • Ovary / chemistry
  • Ovary / drug effects
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / metabolism*
  • Urtica dioica / chemistry*


  • Plant Extracts
  • Estradiol
  • Lutein