Ovarian insufficiency and ovariectomy are characterized by deregulated heat loss mechanisms. Unlike hormone therapy, ERr 731 (a standardized botanical extract of Siberian rhubarb Rheum rhaponticum L. high in rhaponticin) acts like a selective estrogen receptor modulator for ERβ receptors and may offer a higher degree of safety while maintaining the desired efficacy profile. In this study, we examined the relationship between oral administration of ERr 731 and the underlying components of skin vasomotion responses in an ovariectomized (OVX) rat model. ERr 731 dose-dependently reduced tail skin temperature (Tskin) values by an average of 1 °C. The rapid onset of this effect was observed in 1 and 3 mg/kg/day ERr 731 groups as early as day 2 of administration, and remained in place for the duration of the treatment (2 weeks). Substituting ERr 731 after E2 withdrawal helped maintain body temperature similarly to E2 alone, suggesting the usefulness of ERr 731 for replacing existing hormonal therapy in humans. ERr 731 also acted as a highly selective agonist for ERβ in the hypothalamus of OVX rats, as well as in ERα/β cell-based reporter assays. These data validate the OVX/Tskin rat model as a suitable screening platform to evaluate botanical and pharmaceutical treatments of menopause, while providing further evidence for the efficacy of ERr 731 towards alleviating vasomotor menopausal symptoms and improving wellbeing during the menopausal transition.
Keywords: ERr 731; HRT; estrogens; hot flashes; postmenopausal.