Extracts from Pygeum africanum and other ethnobotanical species with antiandrogenic activity

Planta Med. 2006 Jul;72(9):807-13. doi: 10.1055/s-2006-946638. Epub 2006 Jun 19.


Extracts from Pygeum africanum, Serenoa repens and Cucurbita pepo are used in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate cancer (PCa). The activity of the androgen receptor (AR) is known to control growth of the prostate. Here, we examined extracts of these plants for their antiandrogenic activity using an AR responsive reporter gene assay for drug discovery. A selective dichloromethane extract from the stem barks of Pygeum africanum revealed the highest antiandrogenic effect. Bioactivity-directed fractionation of this extract led to the isolation of N-butylbenzenesulfonamide (NBBS) indicating that extracts of the stem bark of P. africanum harbour androgen antagonistic activity. This compound may provide a novel approach for the prevention and treatment of BPH and human PCa.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Androgen Antagonists / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Cucurbita / chemistry
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Haplorhini
  • Luciferases / analysis
  • Oleanolic Acid / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Prunus africana / chemistry*
  • Serenoa / chemistry
  • Sitosterols / pharmacology
  • Sulfonamides / isolation & purification
  • Sulfonamides / pharmacology*
  • Triterpenes / pharmacology


  • Androgen Antagonists
  • Plant Extracts
  • Sitosterols
  • Sulfonamides
  • Triterpenes
  • gamma-sitosterol
  • Oleanolic Acid
  • Luciferases
  • ursolic acid
  • N-butylbenzenesulfonamide