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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005 Jan 28;326(4):909-16.

Naringenin-type flavonoids show different estrogenic effects in mammalian and teleost test systems.

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  • 1Institute of Zoology, Dresden University of Technology, 01062 Dresden, Germany. oliver.zierau@mailbox.tu-dresden.de


The estrogenic activity of several intermediary plant compounds has raised concern about possible risks of unwanted interference with endocrine regulation, but on the other hand there are potential medical benefits, in particular in treatment of menopausal symptoms or cancer. In the present study, we compare the estrogenic effects of phytoestrogens naringenin, 8-prenylnaringenin, 6-(1,1-dimethylallyl)naringenin, and the synthetic 4'-acetyl-7-prenyloxynaringenin. Two mammalian in vitro systems and a fish in vivo system were used to study the estrogenic properties with reference to genistein, 17-beta-estradiol or ethynylestradiol. Strong differences were observed between the mammalian in vitro and the fish in vivo test system. In the medaka sex reversal/vtg gene expression assay no estrogenic effects of the naringenin-type flavonoids were observed, while mammalian in vitro systems showed a similar and graded response to the test compounds.

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