Send to

Choose Destination
Toxicol Sci. 2007 Jun;97(2):299-307. Epub 2007 Mar 3.

Genistein accumulates in body depots and is mobilized during fasting, reaching estrogenic levels in serum that counter the hormonal actions of estradiol and organochlorines.

Author information

3rd Laboratory/Biotechnology, Civic Hospital of Brescia, Brescia, Italy.


Isoflavones are important dietary compounds that are consumed with the daily diet and elicit important biological actions. Here we report on the ability of genistein to partially accumulate in body depots of male mice, be released following fasting, and modulate the actions of estradiol and environmental estrogens in reproductive and nonreproductive target organs of estrogen-reporter mice (ERE-tK-luciferase). After the consumption of 50 mg/kg/day for 3 days, genistein accumulates in body compartments where it remains at functionally active levels for at least 15 days. Following 48 h of fasting, its concentration increased in serum from 99 +/- 13 to 163 +/- 17 nM. These levels are sufficient to exert an estrogenic effect in the testis and liver, as revealed by a twofold increase in luciferase gene expression. beta-Benzene-hexachloride (betaBHC) given at the concentration of 100 mg/kg/day for 3 days also accumulates in the body and is released by fasting, reaching serum levels of 176 +/- 33 nM, upregulating the luciferase gene in the liver and inhibiting its expression in the testis. When genistein was given in combination with betaBHC at doses sufficient to induce accumulation of both in body depots, the genistein mobilized by fasting reversed the action of the mobilized betaBHC in the testis. Acute administration of nutritional doses of genistein inhibited the action of estradiol and reversed the antiestrogenic action of o,p'-DDT: 1,1,1,-trichloro-2(p-chlorophenyl)-2-(o-chlorophenyl)ethane in the liver and the antiestrogenic action of betaBHC in the testis. Genistein had an additive effect with the ER agonist p,p'-DDT: 1,1,1,-trichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethane in the liver. The observed effects may be relevant to a protective action of phytoestrogens against estrogen receptor-interacting pollutants as well as the dietary modulation of estradiol action.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center