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Int J Androl. 2009 Aug;32(4):417-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2605.2009.00944.x.

Antiandrogenic activities of Glycyrrhiza glabra in male rats.

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Department of Anatomical Sciences, School of Medicine, Qazvin University of Medical Sciences, Qazvin, Iran.


Abnormal levels of androgens cause many diseases like benign prostatic hyperplasia and hormone dependent cancers. Although the reduction in serum testosterone (T) by Glycyrrhiza glabra has been reported, its effects on seminal vesicle (SV) and prostate tissues have never been reported. This study was carried out to investigate different aspects of antiandrogenic properties of this plant. Immature male rats were divided into five groups (n = 7): castrated rats without any treatment received only vehicle; castrated rats plus T replacement; three castrated groups with T replacement plus various doses of G. glabra extract (75, 150 and 300 mg/kg). All of the injections were carried out once daily in subcutaneous manner for 7 days. On the eighth day, blood samples were collected for total T measurement. Ventral prostate (VP), SV and levator ani muscle were dissected and weighed. Slides prepared from prostate were assessed histologically. The variation in the relative and absolute volume of the prostate tissue compartments was determined. Those receiving the doses of 150 and 300 mg/kg showed a significant reduction (p < 0.05) in prostate weight, total T and VP epithelium/stroma ratio (V/V). These results in SV and levator ani were shown in response to 300 mg/kg of extract. Increasing in T metabolism, down-regulation of androgen receptors or activation of oestrogen receptors could be involved mechanisms. This study showed that alcoholic extract of G. glabra has antiandrogenic properties.

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