Impact of Pueraria candollei var. mirifica and its potent phytoestrogen miroestrol on expression of bone-specific genes in ovariectomized mice

Fitoterapia. 2012 Dec;83(8):1687-92. doi: 10.1016/j.fitote.2012.09.024. Epub 2012 Oct 4.


Miroestrol (MR) is a highly active phytoestrogen isolated from tuberous root of Pueraria candollei var. mirifica (PM). Modulatory effects of PM and MR on osteoprotegerin (OPG) and receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa B ligand (RANKL) mRNAs which are bone-specific genes were investigated in ovariectomized female ICR mice. After ovariectomy, expression of OPG mRNA was suppressed but that of RANKL was induced. Estradiol benzoate (E2) recovered OPG expression to the level comparable to the sham while that of RANKL was suppressed in ovariectomized mice. PM crude extract (PME) significantly down-regulated the expression of RANKL mRNA with no change in the OPG level whereas MR elevated the expression of OPG mRNA with lowering level of RANKL mRNA, resulting in the increased OPG/RANKL ratio, and consequently lead to lowering progression of osteoporosis at molecular level. These findings revealed potential of PME and MR on bone loss prevention via increasing the ratio of OPG to RANKL (osteoformation/osteoresorption) in liver of ovariectomized mice. Therefore, using PME and MR as alternative hormone replacement therapy of E2 might be beneficial recommended due to advantageous on regulation of osteoporosis related genes.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Development / drug effects*
  • Bone and Bones / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Osteoporosis / prevention & control
  • Osteoprotegerin / genetics
  • Osteoprotegerin / metabolism
  • Ovariectomy
  • Phytoestrogens / chemistry
  • Phytoestrogens / pharmacology*
  • Pueraria / chemistry*
  • RANK Ligand / genetics
  • RANK Ligand / metabolism
  • Steroids / chemistry
  • Steroids / pharmacology*


  • Osteoprotegerin
  • Phytoestrogens
  • RANK Ligand
  • Steroids
  • Tnfsf11 protein, mouse
  • miroestrol