HYPOTHESIS: Consumption of Marantodes pumilum leaves helps to ameliorate increased in vaginal fluid pH in sex-steroid deficient condition.
PURPOSE: To investigate changes in vaginal fluid pH and expression of proteins that participate in pH changes i.e vacoular (V)-ATPases and carbonic anhydrases (CA) in the vagina following M. pumilum leaves consumption.
METHODS: Ovariectomized adult female rats were treated orally with M. pumilum leaves extract (MPE) at 100, 250 and 500 mg/kg.b.w and estradiol at 0.2 µg/kg/b.w for 28 days. At the end of the treatment, vaginal fluid pH was measured in anesthetised rats by using micropH probe. Following sacrificed, levels of V-ATPase and CA proteins and mRNAs in the vagina were identified by Western blotting and real-time PCR, respectively. Protein distribution was visualized by immunohistochemistry.
RESULTS: Administration of MPE causes the pH of vaginal fluid to decrease and expression and distribution of vaginal V-ATPase A & B and CA II, III, IX, XII and XIII to increase.
CONCLUSIONS: The decrease in vaginal fluid pH following MPE treatment suggested that this herb has potential to be used to ameliorate vaginal fluid pH changes in sex-steroid deficient condition.