Author(s): Obiorah IE, Fan P, Jordan VC
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Abstract Phytoestrogens have been investigated as natural alternatives to hormone replacement therapy and their potential as chemopreventive agents. We investigated the effects of equol, genistein, and coumestrol on cell growth in fully estrogenized MCF7 cells, simulating the perimenopausal state, and long-term estrogen-deprived MCF7:5C cells, which simulate the postmenopausal state of a woman after years of estrogen deprivation, and compared the effects with that of steroidal estrogens: 17β estradiol (E2) and equilin present in conjugated equine estrogen. Steroidal and phytoestrogens induce proliferation of MCF7 cells at physiologic concentrations but inhibit the growth and induce apoptosis of MCF7:5C cells. Although steroidal and phytoestrogens induce estrogen-responsive genes, their antiproliferative and apoptotic effects are mediated through the estrogen receptor. Knockdown of ERα using siRNA blocks all estrogen-induced apoptosis and growth inhibition. Phytoestrogens induce endoplasmic reticulum stress and inflammatory response stress-related genes in a comparable manner as the steroidal estrogens. Inhibition of inflammation using dexamethasone blocked both steroidal- and phytoestrogen-induced apoptosis and growth inhibition as well as their ability to induce apoptotic genes. Together, this suggests that phytoestrogens can potentially be used as chemopreventive agents in older postmenopausal women but caution should be exercised when used in conjunction with steroidal anti-inflammatory agents due to their antiapoptotic effects. ©2014 American Association for Cancer Research.
This article was published in Cancer Prev Res (Phila)
and referenced in Journal of Cell Science & Therapy