Planta Med 2020; 86(10): 708-716
DOI: 10.1055/a-1158-9422
Biological and Pharmacological Activity
Original Papers
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Biochanin A, the Most Potent of 16 Isoflavones, Induces Relaxation of the Coronary Artery Through the Calcium Channel and cGMP-dependent Pathway

Thomas Migkos
1   Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy in Hradec Kralove, Charles University, Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic
Jana Pourová
1   Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy in Hradec Kralove, Charles University, Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic
Marie Vopršalová
1   Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy in Hradec Kralove, Charles University, Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic
Cyril Auger
2   INSERM (French National Institute of Health and Medical Research), UMR 1260, Regenerative Nanomedicine (RNM), FMTS, Université de Strasbourg, Faculté de Pharmacie, Illkirch, France
Valérie Schini-Kerth
2   INSERM (French National Institute of Health and Medical Research), UMR 1260, Regenerative Nanomedicine (RNM), FMTS, Université de Strasbourg, Faculté de Pharmacie, Illkirch, France
Přemysl Mladěnka
1   Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy in Hradec Kralove, Charles University, Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic
› Author Affiliations
Supported by: EFSA-CDN project CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/16_019/0000841
Supported by: Univerzita Karlova v Praze SVV 260 414
Further Information

Publication History

received 03 February 2020
revised 02 April 2020

accepted 13 April 2020

Publication Date:
14 May 2020 (online)


The dietary intake of flavonoids seems to be inversely related to cardiovascular mortality. The consumption of isoflavonoids is increasing in the general population, especially due to the use of food supplements and a variety of isoflavonoid-rich foods. However, detailed studies on the vascular influence of individual pure isoflavonoids are mostly missing. For this study, 16 isoflavonoids were initially screened for their vasorelaxant properties on rat aortas. The 2 most potent of them, biochanin A and glycitein, were further tested for the mechanism of action on porcine coronary arteries. They both induced an endothelium independent vascular relaxation, with EC50 below 6 and 17 µM, respectively. Biochanin A, but not glycitein, was able to block the vasoconstriction caused by KCl, CaCl2, serotonin, and U46619 in a dose-dependent manner. Another series of experiments suggested that the major mechanism of action of biochanin A was the inhibition of L-type calcium channels. Moreover, biochanin A in relatively small concentrations (2 – 4 µM) interfered with the cGMP, but not cAMP, pathway in isolated coronary arteries. These results indicate that some isoflavonoids, in particular biochanin A, are able to have vasodilatory effects in micromolar concentrations, which is of potential clinical interest for the management of cardiovascular pathologies.

Supporting Information

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