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Climacteric. 2012 Apr;15(2):186-94. doi: 10.3109/13697137.2011.582970. Epub 2011 Nov 8.

Effects of phytoestrogens derived from soy bean on expression of adhesion molecules on HUVEC.

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Department of Clinical, Toxicological and Bromatological Analysis, Ribeirão Preto School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of São Paulo, Av. Bandeirantes s/n, Monte Alegre, Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil.



The risks of hormone replacement therapy have led to a search for new alternatives such as phytoestrogens, plant compounds with estrogen-like biological activity. Isoflavones are the phytoestrogens most extensively studied and can be found in soybean, red clover and other plants. Due to this estrogen-like activity, phytoestrogens can have some effect on atherosclerosis. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) have been extensively used to study the biology and pathobiology of human endothelial cells and most of the knowledge acquired is due to experiments with cultures of these cells.


To evaluate the effects of the phytoestrogen extracts from Glycine max soy bean, genistein, formononetin, biochanin A and daidzein, as well as a mixture of these extracts (Mix), on expression of adhesion molecules, VCAM-1, ICAM-1 and E-selectin, by endothelial cell HUVEC, stimulated with lipopolysaccharide.


HUVEC were cultured in medium EBM(2), pretreated with isoflavones for 24 and 48 h and then stimulated with lipopolysaccharide; in addition, isoflavones were added, after stimulation by lipopolysaccharide, to HUVEC. We evaluated the production of VCAM-1, ICAM-1 and E-selectin on cell surface, by cell-based enzyme immunoassay, and of sVCAM-1, sICAM-1 and sE-selectin in culture supernatant, by ELISA.


Genistein, formononetin, biochanin A and daidzein, as well as the Mix were able to reduce VCAM-1, ICAM-1 and E-selectin on cell surface and in culture supernatant. Conclusion Isoflavones extracted from Glycine max soy bean, in vitro, presented antiatherogenic effects, reducing the expression of adhesion molecules and acting as preventive agents as well as therapeutic agents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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