Repeated Intramuscular-dose Toxicity Test of Water-soluble Carthami Flos (WCF) Pharmacopuncture in Sprague-Dawley Rats

  • Choi, Yoo-Min ;
  • Jung, Da-Jung ;
  • Kim, Seok-Hee ;
  • Kim, Jong-Uk ;
  • Yook, Tae-Han
  • Received : 2014.12.03
  • Accepted : 2014.12.22
  • Published : 2015.03.30


Objectives: Water-soluble carthami flos (WCF) is a new mixture of Carthami flos (CF) pharmacopuncture. We conducted a 4-week toxicity test of repeated intramuscular injections of WCF in Sprague-Dawley rats. Methods: Forty male and 40 female rats were divided into 4 groups of 10 male and 10 female SD rats: The control group received 0.5 mL/animal/day of normal saline whereas the three experimental groups received WCF at doses of 0.125, 0.25, and 0.5 mL/animal/day, respectively. For 4 weeks, the solutions were injected into the femoral muscle of the rats alternating from side to side. Clinical signs, body weights, and food consumption were observed; opthalmological examinations and urinalyses were performed. On day 29, blood samples were taken for hematological and clinical chemistry analyses. Then, necropsy was conducted in all animals to observe weights and external and histopathological changes in the bodily organs. All data were tested using a statistical analysis system (SAS). Results: No deaths were observed. Temporary irregular respiration was observed in male rats of the experimental group for the first 10 days. Body weights, food consumptions, opthalmological examinations, urinalyses, clinical chemistry analyses, organ weights and necropsy produced no findings with toxicological meaning. In the hematological analysis, delay of prothrombin time (PT) was observed in male rats of the 0.25- and the 0.5-mL/animal/day groups. In the histopathological test, a dose-dependent inflammatory cell infiltration into the fascia and panniculitis in perimuscular tissues was observed in all animals of the experimental groups. However, those symptoms were limited to local injection points. No toxicological meanings, except localized changes, were noted. Conclusion: WCF solution has no significant toxicological meaning, but does produce localized symptoms. No observed adverse effect level (NOAEL) of WCF in male and female rats is expected for doses over 0.5 mL/animal/day.


Carthamus tinctorious L. Carthami semen;intramuscular;toxicity tests;water-soluble carthami flos pharmacopuncture


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