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The effects of phytoestrogen extracts isolated from elder flower on hormone production and proliferation of trophoblast tumour and breast cancer cell lines
Background: Lignans and flavonoids have a controversial effect on hormone-dependent tumours. Herein we investigated the effect of the elderflower extracts (EFE) on hormone production and proliferation of trophoblast tumour cells Jeg 3 and BeWo, as well as MCF 7 breast cancer cells.
Methods: The EFE was prepared and analyzed by mass spectrometry. MCF7, Jeg3 and BeWo cells were incubated with various concentrations of EFE. Untreated cells served as controls. Supernatants were tested for estradiol production with an ELISA method. Furthermore, the effect of the EFE on ER-α/ER-β/PR expression was assessed by immunocytochemistry.
Results: The EFE was found to contain a substantial ratio of lignans. Estradiol production was elevated in MCF7, BeWo and Jeg3 cells in a concentration-dependent manner. In MCF7 cells, a significant ER-α down-regulation and a significant PR up-regulation were observed.
Conclusions: The above results after properly designed animal studies could highlight a potential of elderflower extracts (EFE) in breast cancer prevention and/or treatment.