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Extracts from Schizandra chinensis Fruit activated Estrogen Receptors: a possible clue to its effect on nitric oxide-mediated vasorelaxation.

Schizandra chinensis fruit is used in Korea to treat cardiovascular diseases and menopausal symptoms. For example in China, schizandra is part of the Shenlai San herbal mixture, which is used to treat coronary heart disease.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of Schizandra chinensis extract on the vasomotor tone of rat thoracic aorta and if the effect was caused by the estrogen effect of the phytochemicals. The phytochemicals which are responsible for this action have not been identified yet. This was the first in vivo study to investigate the estrogen activity of Schizandra. The Schizandra extract was obtained by butanol extraction of a solution made with dried Schizandra fruits.

It was fund that the Schizandra extract caused a transient relaxing response to the rat aorta, when contracted with norepinephrine. This relaxation was not observed when the endothelium was removed from the aorta, indicating that the Schizandra extract acts on the endothelium. Probably the Schizandra extract interacts with the endothelial nitric oxide synthase.

Schizandra chinensis extract seemed to act as a weak phytoestrogens. The activation of estrogen receptors was determined by measuring the transcription activity of a plasmid (ERE2-tk81-luc reporter plasmid), which is responsive to estrogen.


Source: Yound Joo Lee, Jung Yoon Cho, Jung-Hyun Kim, WanKyu Park, Duk-Kyung Kim and Mee-Ra Rhyu. Extracts from Schizandra chinensis Fruit activated Estrogen Receptors: a possible clue to its effect on nitric oxide-mediated vasorelaxation.. Biol. Pharm. Bull. 27(7)1066-1069 (2004)



 
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