Inhibitory effects of two major isoflavonoids in Radix Astragali on high glucose-induced mesangial cells proliferation and AGEs-induced endothelial cells apoptosis

Planta Med. 2011 May;77(7):729-32. doi: 10.1055/s-0030-1250628. Epub 2010 Dec 14.


Radix Astragali, the dried roots of Astragalus membranaceus var. mongholicus, is well known to have a protective effect on diabetic nephropathy. However, the effects of isoflavonoids in Radix Astragali on glomerular cells, which play a key role in the development of diabetic vascular complications, remain largely unknown. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate in vitro the effect of calycosin and calycosin-7-O-β-D-glucoside, two major isoflavonoids in Radix Astragali, on high glucose-induced rat mesangial cells proliferation and AGEs-induced human glomerular endothelial cell apoptosis. The results indicated that both calycosin and calycosin-7-O-β-D-glucoside (10-100 µM) could inhibit high glucose-induced mesangial cell early proliferation. Additionally, AGEs-mediated cell apoptosis was also attenuated by treatment of glomerular endothelial cells with either calycosin or calycosin-7-O-β-D-glucoside (1-100 µM). Therefore, the results obtained in this study suggest that both calycosin and calycosin-7-O-β-D-glucoside have a significant therapeutic potential to modulate the development and/or progression of diabetic nephropathy.

Publication types

  • Letter
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Astragalus Plant / chemistry
  • Astragalus propinquus / chemistry
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / chemistry*
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology
  • Endothelial Cells / cytology
  • Endothelial Cells / drug effects
  • Endothelial Cells / metabolism
  • Glucose / pharmacology*
  • Glucosides / pharmacology*
  • Glycation End Products, Advanced / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Isoflavones / pharmacology*
  • Mesangial Cells / cytology
  • Mesangial Cells / drug effects*
  • Mesangial Cells / metabolism
  • Plant Roots / chemistry
  • Rats


  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Glucosides
  • Glycation End Products, Advanced
  • Isoflavones
  • calycosin-7-O-beta-D-glucoside
  • 7,3'-dihydroxy-4'-methoxyisoflavone
  • Huang Qi
  • Glucose