Icaritin benefit and research
Icaritin is found in horny goat weed herb.
Neuroprotective effects of icaritin against beta amyloid-induced
neurotoxicity in primary cultured rat neuronal cells via estrogen-dependent
Neuroscience. 2007. Institute of Pharmacology & Toxicology and Biochemical Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.
Beta-amyloid protein (Abeta) is the hallmark of pathogenic neurotoxins which contribute greatly to Alzheimer's disease (AD)-associated cascade including severe neuronal loss. In present study, icaritin, an active natural ingredient from a Chinese plant, Epimedium sagittatum maxim, was investigated to assess its neuroprotective effect against the toxicity induced with Abeta(25-35) in primary cultured rat cortical neuronal cells as well as the underlying mechanisms. Abeta(25-35) induced neuronal toxicity, characterized by decreased cell viability, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release, and neuronal DNA condensation, which is associated with both the loss of membrane potential and the alteration of the expression of Bcl-2 family proteins. The phenotype alternation induced by Abeta(25-35) could be reversed by icaritin. Furthermore, the neuroprotective effects of icaritin mentioned above were estrogen receptor dependent due to the blocking action induced by estrogen receptor antagonist ICI 182,780 and well matched binding affinity with estrogen receptor by a receptor-ligand docking experiment. mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase kinase inhibitor PD98059 weakened the protective effects, which implied mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase pathway may also be involved in and partly contributed to the neuroprotective effects of icaritin.
Icaritin induces growth inhibition and apoptosis of
human prostatic smooth muscle cells in an estrogen receptor-independent manner.
Amino Acids. 2009.
Icaritin has selective estrogen receptor (ER) modulating activity. ERs are expressed in the prostate stroma, and estrogens have an important role in the pathology of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). However, the impact of icaritin on BPH was not studied. Human prostatic smooth muscle cells (PSMCs) were treated with 0-100 muM icaritin, also using 10 muM ICI182780 as a specific ER antagonist. The effects on cell growth and apoptosis were determined by cell counting and sandwich-enzyme-immunoassay. Western blotting was employed to illustrate the possible mechanisms. Cell growth was strongly inhibited by icaritin, and this was accompanied by an augmented apoptosis. Few changes in icaritin-induced growth inhibition and apoptosis were observed after pretreatment in the presence of ICI182780. Consistent with growth inhibition and apoptosis induction, icaritin decreased cyclin D1 and CDK4 expression and increased Bax/Bcl-2 ratio in human PSMCs. Furthermore, icaritin induced sustained phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) in human PSMCs. PD98059, a specific ERK inhibitor, blocked the activation of ERK by icaritin and abolished the icaritin-induced growth inhibition and apoptosis. The results indicate that icaritin reduces growth and induces apoptosis in human PSMCs via ERK signaling pathway without involvement of ERs.