Molecular screening of Chinese medicinal plants for progestogenic and anti-progestogenic activity

June 2014
Journal of Biosciences;Jun2014, Vol. 39 Issue 3, p453
Academic Journal
Estrogen and progestins have adverse effects, and many of these adverse effects are caused by progestins. Due to this, many women choose to use botanical alternatives for hormone replacement therapy, which does not trigger steroidogenic properties. Therefore, it is necessary to screen these herbs for progestogenic and anti-progestogenic properties. Extract of 13 Chinese medicinal plants were analysed for progestogenic and anti-progestogenic activities by using progesterone response element-driven luciferase reporter gene bioassay. MTT assay was carried out to investigate the cytotoxic effect of herb extract on PAE cells. Among the 13 herbs, Dipsacus asperoides extract exhibited progestogenic activity, and 10 species - Cortex eucommiae, Folium artemisiae argyi, Glycyrrhiza uralensis, Angelica sinensis, Atractylodes macrocephala koidz, Scutellaria baicalensis, Cuscuta chinensis, Euscaphis japonica, Ailanthus altissima, and Dioscorea opposita - were recognized to have anti-progestogenic like activities. Extract of Dipsacus asperoides demonstrated dose-dependent progestogenic activity, and the progestogenic activity of 100 µg/mL extracts was equivalent to 31.45 ng/mL progesterone activity. Herbs extracts that exhibited anti-progestogenic-like activity also inhibited the 314.46 ng/mL progesterone activity in a dose-response manner. None of the herb extracts shown significant toxic effect on PAE cells at 40-100 µg/mL compared to control. This discovery will aid selection of suitable herbs for hormone replacement therapy.


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