Experimental study on the protective effect of puerarin to Parkinson disease

J Huazhong Univ Sci Technolog Med Sci. 2003;23(2):148-50. doi: 10.1007/BF02859940.


The protective effect of puerarin on the Parkinson disease (PD) mice with decreased estrogen level was investigated in order to develop a new potential medicine as a substitute for estrogen for preventing and treating PD. By using immunohistochemical method of avidinbiotin peroxidase complex (ABC), the distribution of the cells positive for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and fibres in the substantia nigra of the mouse were observed. These mice were divided into three groups randomly: group A, normal-female-mouse models; group B containing three subgroups, B1 (normal saline), B2 (estrogen), B3 (puerarin); group C containing three sub groups, C1 (normal saline), C2 (estrogen), C3 (puerarin). By using TUNEL the numbers of apoptosis cells in every visual field was counted and the difference between the experimental group and control group was compared. The results showed the numbers of the cells positive for TH were more and the numbers of apoptosis cells were less in the normal-female-mouse models group than in the group of model made after ovariosteresis and the group of model made before ovariosteresis (P < 0.05), respectively. However, there was no significant difference, between the group given estrogen/puerarin and the controls, and between the group given estrogen and given puerarin. (P > 0.05). It was suggested that puerarin may have protective effect on the nigral neurons to PD. Moreover, the protective effect might serve as a surrogate of estrogen and be associated with the apoptosis.

MeSH terms

  • 1-Methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Estrogens / blood
  • Estrogens / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Isoflavones / chemistry
  • Isoflavones / pharmacology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Ovariectomy
  • Parkinson Disease / blood
  • Parkinson Disease / prevention & control*
  • Phytoestrogens
  • Plant Preparations / pharmacology
  • Random Allocation
  • Substantia Nigra / metabolism
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase / metabolism
  • Vasodilator Agents / chemistry
  • Vasodilator Agents / pharmacology


  • Estrogens
  • Isoflavones
  • Phytoestrogens
  • Plant Preparations
  • Vasodilator Agents
  • 1-Methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase
  • puerarin