Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research article

Heteropterys tomentosa (A. Juss.) infusion counteracts Cyclosporin a side effects on the ventral prostate

Karine M Freitas1*, Juliana C Monteiro2, Marcos LM Gomes3, Sebastião R Taboga4 and Heidi Dolder1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Structural and Functional Biology, Institute of Biology, State University of Campinas (IB/UNICAMP), Campinas, SP, 13083-863, Brazil

2 Department of Agrarian and Biological Sciences, CEUNES, Federal University of Espírito Santo, São Mateus, Brazil

3 Department of Health Sciences, CEUNES, Federal University of Espírito Santo, São Mateus, Brazil

4 Department of Biology, Institute of Biosciences, Language, and Science, State University of São Paulo - Júlio de Mesquita Filho, São José do Rio Preto, Brazil

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013, 13:30  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-13-30

Published: 13 February 2013



Cyclosporin A (CsA) is an immunosuppressive drug widely used in treatment of auto-immune diseases or after organ transplants. However, several side effects are commonly associated with CsA long term intake, some regarding to loss of reproductive organ function due to oxidative damage. Considering that phytotherapy is an important tool often used against oxidative stress, we would like to describe the beneficial effects of Heteropterys tomentosa intake to minimize the damage caused by CsA to the ventral prostate tissue of Wistar rats under laboratorial conditions.


Thirty adult Wistar rats (Rattus norvegicus albinus) were divided into: control group (water); CsA group (Cyclosporin A); Ht group (H. tomentosa infusion) and CsA + Ht group (CsA and H. tomentosa infusion). Plasmic levels of hepatotoxicity markers, triglycerides, cholesterol and glucose were quantified. The ventral prostate tissue was analyzed under light microscopy, using stereological, morphometrical and immunohistochemical techniques.


H. tomentosa did not cause any alterations either of the plasmic parameters or of the ventral prostate structure. CsA caused alterations of GOT, total and indirect bilirubin, cholesterol, triglycerides and glucose levels in the plasma; CsA-treated rats showed alterations of the ventral prostate tissue. There were no alterations regarding the plasma levels of GOT, triglycerides and glucose of CsA + Ht animals. The same group also showed normalization of most of the parameters analyzed on the ventral prostate tissue when compared to the CsA group. The treatments did not alter the pattern of AR expression or the apoptotic index of the ventral prostate epithelium.


The results suggest a protective action of the H. tomentosa infusion against the side effects of CsA on the ventral prostate tissue, which could also be observed with plasmic biochemical parameters.

Cyclosporine; Heteropterys aphrodisiaca; Immunosuppressive drug; Medicinal plants; Phytotherapy; Male reproduction