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Maturitas. 2003 Mar 14;44 Suppl 1:S31-8.

In vitro effects of the Cimicifuga racemosa extract BNO 1055.

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Division of Clinical and Experimental Endocrinology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Göttingen, Robert-Koch-Strasse 40, 37075 Göttingen, Germany.



Extracts of Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa or CR) have been used for the treatment of climacteric complaints since decades. Efficacy, particularly concerning neurovegetative and psychic symptoms, has been proven in clinical trials. As active principle yet unknown substances with selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) activity are assumed. Recently, evidence arose that CR may also contain dopaminergic compounds, which may contribute to the therapeutic activity of the extract.


Two subtypes of the estrogen receptor (ERalpha and ERbeta) are known. To examine, whether active substances of CR extract BNO 1055 (which is contained in Klimadynon and Menofem) bind to either of the two estrogen receptors, subtype-specific estrogen receptor ligand-binding assays with recombinant ERalpha or ERbeta were conducted. A ligand-binding assay with recombinant dopamine D(2)-receptor protein was employed to assess possible dopaminergic activity in the CR extract BNO 1055.


While a displacement of radiolabeled estradiol from binding sites of a cytosol preparation from procine and human endometrium by CR extract BNO 1055 was shown no such displacement was achieved when either ERalpha or ERbeta protein was used as ligands for tracer. Dopaminergic activity in the CR extract BNO 1055 could be demonstrated with the D(2)-receptor assay. A countercurrent chromatography resulted in a separation of estrogenic and dopaminergic activity in two distinct fractions.


It is suggested that not yet identified substances in the CR extract BNO 1055 bind to a yet unknown estrogen-binding site in the endometrium. Also, yet unknown dopaminergic compounds may contribute to the pharmacological profile of CR extract BNO 1055.

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