Objective: The effects of miroestrol (MR), an active phytoestrogen from Pueraria candollei var. mirifica, on expression of cancer-related genes were determined.
Methods: Seven-week-old female ICR mice (n = 5 each) were subcutaneously administered estradiol (E2, 0.5 mg/kg/day) or MR (0.5 or 5 mg/kg/day) daily for 7 days. Some were given ER or MR in combination with β-naphthoflavone (BNF, 30 mg/kg/day) for the last 3 days. The expression of cancer-related genes including cytochrome P450 1A (Cyp1a), cytochrome P450 1B1 (Cyp1b1), aromatase P450 (Cyp19), NAD(P)H: quinone oxidoreductase 1 (Nqo1) and catechol-O-methyltransferase (Comt) were evaluated.
Key findings: In the presence of BNF, MR suppressed hepatic CYP1A1 activity and CYP1A2 activity, expression of CYP1B1 mRNA and expression of CYP1A1/2 and CYP1B1 protein. E2, by contrast, did not. MR restored expression levels of hepatic NQO1 and uterine COMT in BNF-treated mice. Furthermore, MR increased expression of uterine CYP19 to the same extent as E2.
Conclusion: MR may be superior to E2 as it downregulates expression of CYP1. Moreover, MR normalized expression of both NQO1 and COMT, the protective enzymes, in murine liver and uteri. These results support the use of MR as an alternative supplement for menopausal women, MR having the extra benefit of reducing cancer risk.
Keywords: Pueraria mirifica; cancer risk; estrogenic activity.
© 2016 Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology.