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Open Access Research article

The effects of Sutaehwan-Gami on menopausal symptoms induced by ovariectomy in rats

Dong-Il Kim1, Min Sun Choi1, Sok Cheon Pak2, Seung-bok Lee3* and Songhee Jeon4*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, College of Traditional Korean Medicine, Dongguk University, Gyeongju, Republic of Korea

2 School of Biomedical Sciences, Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, NSW, 2795, Australia

3 SungSung Traditional Korean Medicine Clinic, Yongdam-ro 115, Yeonsu-gu, Incheon 406-818, Republic of Korea

4 Dongguk University Research Institute of Biotechnology, Dongguk University, 27-3, Phildong 3, , Joong-gu, Seoul, Korea 100-715

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012, 12:227  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-12-227

Published: 23 November 2012

Abstract

Background

This study was undertaken to evaluate the beneficial effects of a modified prescription of Sutaehwan named Sutaehwan-Gami (SG), created by adding Rhizoma dioscoreae and Carthami semen to Sutaehwan, on menopausal symptoms.

Methods

To evaluate the estrogenic effect of SG, we first examined estrogen receptor (ER) activation by SG treatment in breast adenocarcinoma cells and confirmed the estrogenic effect of SG in vivo ovariectomized rats. The animals were randomized into four groups: Sham operated group (Sham), saline treated ovariectomized group (OVX), SG treated group (SG) and raloxifene treated group (RLX). Animals were provided with SG at a dose of 500 mg/kg bw/day and RLX at a dose of 5.4 mg/kg bw/day with standard rat pellets for 3 months.

Results

SG significantly increased ERα phosphorylation, and its downstream effectors, extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and protein kinase B (Akt) phosphorylation in breast adenocarcinoma cells. Treatment with SG reversed ovariectomy-induced uterine weight reduction and weight gain. Decreases in the levels of GOT and GPT were observed in the SG group. The significantly reduced E2β level in OVX rats was raised by treatment with SG. Moreover, SG significantly increased the phosphorylation levels of ERK and Akt in the uterus.

Conclusion

Taken together, these data indicate that SG has phytoestrogen-like properties through ERK and Akt activation, implying that it could be protective and beneficial for the management of menopausal symptoms.

Keywords:
Sutaehwan-Gami; Menopause; Ovariectomy; Uterus; Estrogen receptor; ERK; Akt