Objectives : US extract is a mixture of each extract of Ulmi cortex and Smilacis rhizoma. In this study, we investigated the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and ovoprotective effects of US extract in in vitro model to identify potential candidates for improving female reproductive function. Methods : The antioxidant activity of US extract was measured using 1,1-diphenyl- 2-picrylhydrazyl free radical and superoxide anion radical scavenging assays. The anti-inflammatory effect of US extract on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells were determined with a nitric oxide (NO) assay, enzyme linked immunosorbent assays, and western blots analysis. The antibacterial activity of US extract against vaginitis infection microorganisms were determined with disc diffusion and minimum inhibitory concentration assays. The ovoprotective effect of US extract on 4-vinylcyclohexene diepoxide (VCD)-induced ovotoxicity in CHO-K1 cells were evaluated with a cell viability assay. Result : US extract showed good antioxidant capacity and inhibited LPS-induced NO production as well as iNOS and COX-2 expression and secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-6 without affecting the cell viability. It showed significant clear zones for Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans but did not indicate the clear zones for Escherichia coli and Enterococcus faecium. VCD-induced ovotoxicity in CHO-K1 cells was significantly reduced by US extract pre-treatment. Conclusions : These results demonstrate that US extract has antioxidant activity, anti-inflammatory effects on the LPS-stimulated macrophages, antibacterial activity against vaginitis infection microorganisms, and protective effects on the ovarian cells against VCD-induced ovotoxicity. These findings suggest that the US extract can be used as new prescriptions, supplements, functional foods, and cosmetics for improving female reproductive function.
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