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Toxicol Lett. 2007 Sep 28;173(3):175-80. Epub 2007 Aug 2.

Pharmacological concentration of resveratrol suppresses aromatase in JEG-3 cells.

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Department of Biochemistry, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong, China.


Estrogen is crucial in preparing of pregnancy, and its role in the maintenance of pregnancy has yet to be elucidated. During the course of pregnancy, the placenta is responsible for the provision of estrogen. The hormone biosynthesis is catalyzed by cytochrome P450 (CYP) 19 or aromatase. In the present study, we screened several common dietary components and identified the grape polyphenol resveratrol to be a potential inhibitor in the hormone synthesis. In a recombinant protein system resveratrol inhibited the aromatase activity with an IC(50) value of approximately 40 microM. Subsequent analysis was performed in the human placental JEG-3 cells, and 25 microM resveratrol significantly reduced the mRNA abundance in these cells. Since the transcriptional control of CYP19 gene is tissue-specific and the proximal promoter region of exon Ia has previously been shown to be crucial in CYP19 expression in placental cells, we also evaluated the promoter activity of this gene. Reporter gene assays revealed that resveratrol repressed the transcriptional control of promoter Ia. The present study illustrated the possibility that dietary supplementation of resveratrol interfered with the normal functioning of placental cells.

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