The effect of Curcuma longa plant extract on the rabbit embryo development in vitro

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The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of Curcuma longa (CL) root extract on the rabbit embryo development in vitro. Totally 113 pronuclear stage zygotes were used in this experiment. Zygotes were divided into 4 groups: control (C; n = 28) and three experimental groups (E1, E2, E3; n = 31, 26 and 39, resp.) with addition of different concentrations of Curcuma longa extract to the culture medium (E1- 0.1 µg-ml-1; E2- 0.01 µ; E3- 0.001 µ Zygotes were cultured up to the blastocyst stage (120 h) in 5 % CO2 at 37.5 °C. At the end of culture period the blastocysts were stained with DAPI fluorochrome for the total cell number determination. Evaluation of embryo developmental potential showed, that higher blastocyst rate was observed in the E2 (61.5 %) and E3 (60 %) groups compared to the control group (46.4 %). In the group with highest CL concentration in culture (E1- 0.1 µ embryo development was stopped at the morula stage. In this group also the lowest (P < 0.001) number of cleaved embryos (19.4 %) compared to the control (60.7 %) and E3 group (82.1 %) was recorded. There were no differences in the blastocysts total cell number among the groups with lower CL concentrations (E2 77.81 ± 13.6; E3 89.25 ± 15.94) and control group (82.23 ± 21.75). On the basis of our results we suppose that Curcuma longa affects rabbit embryo development in a dose-dependent manner. Although lower concentrations showed positive effect, the highest concentration blocked embryo development at morula stage. It is necessary to determine since which concentration Curcuma longa may be toxic for normal embryonic development.

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