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J Reprod Dev. 2008 Feb;54(1):63-7. Epub 2007 Dec 27.

Determination of the estrogenic activity of wild phytoestrogen-rich Pueraria mirifica by MCF-7 proliferation assay.

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Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the estrogenic activity of tuberous samples of wild, phytoestrogen-rich Pueraria mirifica collected from 28 out of 76 provinces of Thailand by MCF-7 proliferation assay. The plant extracts were administered to MCF-7, ER alpha positive human mammary adenocarcinoma cell cultures, for 3 days at dosages of 0.1, 1, 10, 100 and 1,000 microg/ml and were compared with 17 beta-estradiol at concentrations of 10(-12)-10(-6) M. The mean P. mirifica population at 1 mug/ml exhibited significant proliferation. Two plant samples exhibited levels of proliferation in MCF-7 that were similar to 17beta-estradiol. The mean P. mirifica populations at 100 and 1,000 microg/ml exhibited significant cytotoxicity in MCF-7. Analysis of the estrogenic activity of puerarin, representative of major isoflavonoids in P. mirifica tubers, revealed proliferation in MCF-7 only at the highest dose (10(-6) M) that was 10(2)-10(5) times less active than 17 beta-estradiol. Puerarin and 17 beta-estradiol at concentration of 10(-12)-10(-6) M exhibited no cytotoxicity in MCF-7.

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