Exercise training and verbena officinalis L. affect pre-clinical and histological parameters

Sonia M. Rodrigues Oliveira*, Elsa Dias, Ana Paula Girol, Helena Silva, Maria de Lourdes Pereira*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Verbena officinalis L. or vervain is an herbal medicine and dietary supplement used worldwide. It is used for antidepressant and anticonvulsant purposes, as well as to treat inflammatory disorders, skin burns, abrasions, and gastric diseases, among others. Here, we investigated the biochemical, antioxidant, and histopathological effects of vervain against chronic physical stress. Male Wistar rats were submitted to chronic physical training and oral administration of 200 mg/kg of extract for 7 weeks. Control animals were not treated with either stress or vervain. Body weight was monitored during the study. Liver, kidney, spleen, testis, epididymis, heart, skeletal muscle, and brain samples were collected. Blood cholesterol, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), bilirubin, and creatinine kinase (CREA), among others, were studied. Glutathione peroxidase (GPox) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) antioxidant activity was analyzed in the blood, liver, and kidney. Testosterone measurements were also performed on whole testis extracts. We found significant weight ratios differences in the epididymis, brain, and heart. Animals submitted to training showed hemorrhagic livers. Kidney histology was affected by both stress and vervain. Cell disruption and vacuolization were observed in the testes and epididymis of animals submitted to stress. Hematological and biochemical markers as CREA, LDH, TP, CKI, URCA, γGT, and glucose revealed statistically significantly differences. Additionally, the activity of glutathione peroxide (GPox) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) in the blood was also impacted. Both stress and vervain have significant in vivo effects. Infusions of vervain include phenylpropanoids, iridoids, verbenalin, hastatoside, and flavonoids, amongst others, which interact synergistically to produce the preclinical effects reported here.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3115
Number of pages23
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical toxicology
  • Common vervain
  • Exercise training
  • Oxidative stress
  • Verbena officinalisL


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