Background: The fracture healing is impaired in osteoporosis. Piper sarmentosum is a plant, which contains potent antioxidant, naringenin that may enhance fracture healing. The present histological study aimed to determine the effects of water extract of Piper sarmentosum on the late phase of fracture healing in estrogen-deficient rats.
Methods: Twenty four female Sprague-Dawley rats (200-250 gm) were obtained. Six rats underwent sham operation and the rest were ovariectomized. Six weeks post-ovariectomy all the rats were fractured at the mid-diaphysis of the right femur and a K-wire was inserted for internal fixation. The sham group was given vehicle (normal saline) and the ovariectomized group was randomly subdivided into three groups: (i) ovariectomized-control group supplemented with vehicle; (ii) ovariectomized+estrogen replacement therapy group treated with estrogen (100 µg/kg/day) and (iii) ovariectomized+Piper sarmentosum group treated with Piper sarmentosum water extract (125 mg/kg). Following six weeks of treatment, the rats were sacrificed and the right femora were harvested for histological assessment of fracture callus.
Results: The ovariectomized-control group showed a significant delay in fracture healing compared to the sham, ovariectomized-estrogen replacement therapy and ovariectomized-Piper sarmentosum groups. The median callus score for the ovariectomized-Piper sarmentosum group was 4.50 (range, 4-5), which was significantly higher than the median callus score 3.50 (range, 3-4) for the ovariectomized-control group (P=0.019). However, there was no significant (P>0.05) difference in the callus score among the sham, ovariectomized-estrogen replacement therapy and ovariectomized-Piper sarmentosum groups groups.
Conclusion: Treatment with water extract of Piper sarmentosum proved beneficial in the fracture healing in estrogen-deficient rats.