The present study was carried out to investigate the antiosteoporotic activity of ethanolic extract from the root of Rubia cordifolia (RC) in bilateral-overiectomy induced osteoporotic rats. The study was performed on female Sprague-dawley rats. Two different doses (200 and 400 mg/kg) of ethanolic extract of RC root were evaluated by acute oral toxicity test. Raloxifene (5.4 mg/kg) was used as a reference standard. Rats were randomly divided into 5 groups with 10 per group. Bilateral-overiectomy was performed for all the rats except for the rats from group-1, which were sham-operated and served as a basal control. Rats from group-2 were served as an OVX-control and received vehicle. Group-3 was administered with raloxifene (5.4 mg/kg, p.o.) and served as a standard control. Group-4 and 5 were administered with suspension of ethanolic root extract of RC (200 and 400 mg/kg, p.o.) respectively. Treatment was given for 90 days starting from the 15th day after surgery. At the end of the study, the blood samples from all the groups were withdrawn to assess biochemical parameters. The animals were then sacrificed and femur bones were isolated for biomechanical and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) studies. Increased biomechanical strength, calcium absorption, minimal osteoclastic activity and enhanced osteoblastic activity were observed in the rats treated with ethanolic extract of RC root. SEM data adds a confirmatory note to the findings. All these results demonstrate significantly antiosteoporotic activity of RC extract. Further studies are required to determine the active components that are responsible for its antiosteoporotic activity.
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