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Fructus Ligustri Lucidi modulates estrogen receptor expression with no uterotrophic effect in ovariectomized rats

Tang, Yu-qing, Li, Cheng, Sun, Xue-jiao, Liu, Yi, Wang, Xi-ting, Guo, Yu-bo, Wang, Li-li, Ma, Ru-feng, Niu, Jian-zhao, Fu, Min, Zhang, Dong-wei, Li, Yu
BMC complementary and alternative medicine 2018 v.18 no.1 pp. 118
Western blotting, alternative medicine, blood serum, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, estrogen receptors, estrogens, femur, follicle-stimulating hormone, immunohistochemistry, luteinization, luteinizing hormone, osteoporosis, ovariectomy, rats, staining, tibia, uterus
BACKGROUND: Accumulating evidence suggests that Fructus Ligustri Lucidi (FLL) plays a beneficial role in preventing the development of osteoporosis. However, the effects of FLL on estrogen receptor (ER) α and ERβ expressions remain unknown. Therefore, in the current study we attempted to probe into the effects of FLL on ERα and ERβ expressions in femurs, tibias and uteri of ovariectomized (OVX) rats. METHODS: The OVX rats were orally administrated with FLL water extract (3.5 g/kg/day) for 12 weeks. The uteri, femurs, tibias and serum were harvested from rats. The serum levels of estrogen (E₂), luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) were determined by ELISA. The expressions of ERα and ERβ in the femurs and tibias as well as uteri were analysed by western blot and immunohistochemical staining. RESULTS: FLL treatment did not increase uterus relative weight in OVX rats. Further, FLL treatment increased ERα expression in the femurs and tibias, and enhanced ERβ expression in the uteri of OVX rats. However, the resulted expression of ERα was stronger than that of ERβ in OVX rats in response to FLL treatment. Meanwhile, administration with FLL to OVX rats increased FSH and LH but did not increase E₂ level in the serum. CONCLUSION: FLL treatment shows tissue selection on ERα and ERβ expressions in the femurs and tibias as well as uteri of OVX rats without uterotrophic effect, which may offer the scientific evidence of the efficiency and safety of its clinical application.