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Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2010 Jun 10;321(2):184-93. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2010.02.026. Epub 2010 Mar 1.

The phytoestrogen genistein promotes wound healing by multiple independent mechanisms.

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  • 1Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom.


Genistein has been implicated in the beneficial effects of soy on human health, particularly in the context of ageing. In post-menopausal women reduced systemic estrogen leads to a range of age-associated pathologies, including delayed cutaneous wound healing. We have previously shown that this can be reversed by estrogen replacement. However, the effect of genistein on the skin is poorly understood and crucially the influence of genistein on wound healing has not been assessed. 10-week-old ovariectomised mice were systemically treated with 17beta-estradiol or genistein. Genistein substantially accelerated wound repair, associated with a dampened inflammatory response. Unexpectedly, co-treatment with the ER antagonist ICI had little impact on the anti-inflammatory, healing promoting effects of genistein. Thus genistein's actions are only partially mediated via classical estrogen receptor-dependent signalling pathways. Indeed, we report that alternative (cell-type specific) signalling mechanisms are activated in the skin in response to genistein treatment.

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