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Research articles

ScienceAsia 48 (2022):ID 718-725 |doi: 10.2306/scienceasia1513-1874.2022.102

Anabolic effect of Butea superba Roxb. on improving skeletal muscle atrophy and strength via androgen receptors and increasing parvalbumin levels in orchidectomized rats

Fadeela Binaleea, Wandee Udomuksornb, Ekkasit Kumarnsitb, Uraporn Vongvatcharanonb, Surapong Vongvatcharanonc,*

ABSTRACT:     Butea superba Roxb. (BS) has been used in Thai traditional medicine for the promotion of male sexual vigor. BS may have androgenic or anabolic activity in male animals. This study investigated the effect of BS on toxicity and androgenic and anabolic activities including alteration of androgen receptor immunoreactivity (AR-ir) and parvalbumin (PV) levels in an extensor digitorum longus (EDL) and gastrocnemius in orchidectomized rats. Adult male Wistar rats were divided into 6 groups: (1) sham-operated (SHAM), (2) orchidectomized and double distilled water treated (BS-0), (3) orchidectomized and 6 mg/kg of testosterone propionate treated (TP), orchidectomized and BS treated for 12 weeks at various doses: (4) 5 mg/kg (BS-5), (5) 50 mg/kg (BS-50), and (6) 500 mg/kg (BS-500). All the BS groups led to a significant decrease in testosterone level and the reproductive organ weight compared to those of the SHAM (p < 0.05). In addition, the treatment in all doses of BS may have no toxicity. Interestingly, the treatment with any dose of BS significantly increased strength, endurance, muscle mass, PV levels (p < 0.05), and AR-ir of both EDL and gastrocnemius. Our data also demonstrated that the BS had no androgenic effects but showed anabolic effects by increasing mass, strength, and endurance of skeletal muscles. An increase of PV levels induced by BS may be an important mechanism for improving muscle strength and endurance of skeletal muscles in orchidectomized rats. Therefore, the anabolic effects of BS may be a piece of useful information for an alternative treatment of sarcopenia in andropause.

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a Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Princess of Naradhiwas University, Narathiwat 96000 Thailand
b Division of Health and Applied Sciences, Faculty of Science, Prince of Songkla University, Songkhla 90112 Thailand
c Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (Anesthesiology Section), Faculty of Dentistry, Prince of Songkla University, Songkhla 90112 Thailand

* Corresponding author, E-mail:

Received 20 Nov 2021, Accepted 15 May 2022