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Friday, July 27, 2012

Neurobehavioral actions of coumestrol and related isoflavonoids

Posted by Chantel M. Contributed by US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health

Isoflavonoids are plant estrogens that are increasingly advocated as a natural alternative to estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) and are available as dietary supplements. In the study of Neurobehavioral actions of coumestrol and related isoflavonoids in rodents, posted in PubMed, showed that ten days of treatment with a 200-ppm coumestrol diet increased LH secretion in OVX wild-type mice, an effect opposite to the normal negative feedback effects of estradiol. No effects were observed in ER(alpha) knockout (ER(alpha)KO)-OVX females, indicating that coumestrol's action on LH was mediated through ER(alpha). Similar activational effects were observed for the isoflavone diet. The lordotic response to estrogen was significantly reduced by 2 days of treatment of OVX adult females with an isoflavone diet providing 13 ppm genistein and 33 ppm daidzein. One week of treatment with the same isoflavone diet produced an effect opposite to that of estradiol in the PVN, increasing ERbeta mRNA expression above control levels. These investigations show that, in spite of their preferential affinity for ERbeta, isoflavonoids act through both ER(alpha) and ERbeta. Moreover, their neurobehavioral actions were antiestrogenic, either antagonizing or producing an action in opposition to that of estradiol.

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