Interactions between phytoestrogens and estradiol show variable effects on growth of estrogen-dependent MCF-7 cells

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Isoflavones and lignans are diphenolic compounds commonly consumed in vegetables and fruits. A number of these compounds have been shown to exert estrogen-like effects and thus are considered phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens have been proposed to exert antiestrogenic effects in the presence of estradiol (E2); these antiestrogenic effects have been suggested to contribute to dietary prevention of estrogen-dependent carcinogenesis. In this study, the interactions of 6 phytoestrogens and related compounds with estradiol (E2) were evaluated by incubating estrogen-dependent MCF-7 cells with E2 and each phytoestrogen. 0.01-10 μM genistein significantly increased 0.001-1.0 μM E2-induced cell growth by 20-190%; 0.01-10 μM coumestrol significantly increased 0.01-10 nM E2-induced cell growth by 20-60%; and 0.5-10 μM enterolactone significantly increased 0.01 nM E2-induced growth by 16-27%. Addition of 10 μM luteolin significantly inhibited 0.1-1.0 μM E2-induced growth by 10-20%; 1.0-10 μM chrysin and apigenin significantly inhibited E2-stimulated growth by 30-60% and 10-35%. respectively. While E2-induced cell growth was not affected by 6-day pretreatment with genistein or coumestrol, the additive effects of genistein and coumestrol on E2-induced growth were inhibited by pretreatment with E2 for 6 days. In conclusion, the interactions of phytoestrogens with E2 are variable. Although some related compounds blocked E2-induced cell growth, genistein, coumestrol and enterolactone stimulated cell growth in the presence of E2. The variable effects of interactions between phytoestrogens and E2 on growth of estrogen-dependent cells must be considered when evaluating their roles in cancer prevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)A368
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997


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