Estrogenicity of isoflavones on human endometrial stromal and glandular cells

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Kayisli U., Aksu C., Berkkanoglu M., Arici A.

JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ENDOCRINOLOGY & METABOLISM, vol.87, no.12, pp.5539-5544, 2002 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


Endometrium consists of different cell populations such as epithelial and stromal cells and is mainly regulated by sex steroids. Isoflavones are plant-derived estrogenic compounds that have estrogenic and antiestrogenic properties in a cell-specific manner. We hypothesized that one of the potential health benefits of isoflavones may be their ability to regulate endometrial cell function. The present study was conducted to assess estrogenic and/or antiestrogenic effects of isoflavones (genistein, genistin, daidzein, and daidzin) in cultured human endometrial stromal and glandular (Ishikawa) cells by MTT colorimetric cell proliferation assay, proliferating cell nuclear antigen expression, and alkaline phosphatase activity assays. Experiments were performed in a time- (24-96 h) and concentration-dependent (10(-12) to 10(-5) m) manner. All isoflavones used in the present study induced endometrial stromal and Ishikawa cell proliferation when compared with control (vehicle) group in a time- (at 48 h and afterward) and concentration-dependent manner (at 10(-8) m and above) (P < 0.05). However, isoflavones (at 10(-8) and above concentrations) were also antiestrogenic when combined with estradiol (E-2) (P < 0.05). The isoflavones revealed a weak estrogenic activity (39-67% less than E-2) as assessed by alkaline phosphatase activity (P < 0.05), but when administered together with E-2, they antagonized estrogen induced alkaline phosphatase activity by 36-89% (P < 0.05). We conclude that, although isoflavones alone have weak estrogenic effects on endometrial stromal and glandular cells, in the presence of E-2 they act as antiestrogens.