Zeitschrift für Phytotherapie 2015; 36(04): 157-163
DOI: 10.1055/s-0041-104301
© Haug Verlag in MVS Medizinverlage Stuttgart GmbH & Co. KG

Influence of Rheum rhaponticum, Cimicifuga racemosa and Trifolium pratense extracts on breast cancer cell proliferation

Carsten Gründemanna
Anke Hertrampfa
Barbara Sauera
Manuel Garcia-Käufera
Martin Zehlb
Roman Hubera
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
28 September 2015 (online)


Background: Extracts from the Siberian rhubarb (Rheum rhaponticum) as well as those from red clover (Trifolium pratense) contain phytoestrogens, while black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) may alternatively modify estrogen receptor activity. They have been used for the treatment of menopausal symptoms. Little is known about their effects on estrogen-dependent tumor cells.

Materials and Methods: The influence of a standardized preparation of Rheum rhaponticum (ERr 731®), a well described preparation of Trifolium pratense (Menoflavon® extra) and a commercial preparation of Cimicifuga racemosa (Cefakliman® mono) on proliferation of breast cancer cells was analyzed by the crystal violet assay in estrogen-receptor (ER) dependent (MCF-7) and ER independent (MDA-MB-231) cell-based systems. As positive control for the proliferation of MCF-7 cells we used 17 β-estradiol. The estrogen specificity was demonstrated by applying the ER antagonist ICI182,780 to the cell culture.

Results: Rheum rhaponticum and Cimicifuga racemosa did not induce cell proliferation of MCF-7 or MDA-MB-231 cells. High concentration (100 µg/mL) of Rheum rhaponticum and Trifolium pratense extract were toxic to both cell lines. Trifolium pratense slightly increased proliferation of MCF-7 cells in a dose dependent manner, but this effect was not estrogen specific.

Conclusion: Our results demonstrate that the used extracts have no estrogen specific impact on the proliferation of ER dependent and ER independent breast cancer cells.


Einfluss von Rheum rhaponticum, Cimicifuga racemosa und Trifolium pratense Extrakten auf die Proliferation von Brustkrebszellen

Hintergrund: Extrakte des Sibirischen Rhabarbers (Rheum rhaponticum) wie auch aus Rotklee (Trifolium pratense) enthalten Phytoöstrogene, während die Traubensilberkerze (Cimicifuga racemosa) möglicherweise auf anderem Weg die Östrogenrezeptoraktivität modifiziert. Sie werden zur Behandlung menopausaler Symptome eingesetzt. Über ihre Effekte auf östrogenabhängige Tumorzellen ist bisher wenig bekannt.

Material und Methoden: Der Einfluss eines standardisierten Rheum-rhaponticum-Präparates (ERr 731®), eines gut charakterisierten Extraktes aus Trifolium pratense (Menoflavon® extra) und eines Handelspräparates aus Cimicifuga racemosa (Cefakliman® mono) auf die Proliferation von Brustkrebszellen wurde in Östrogenrezeptor (ER)-abhängigen (MCF-7) und ER-unabhängigen (MDA-MB-231) zellbasierten Systemen mittels Kristallviolett-Methode untersucht. Als Positivkontrolle für die Proliferation von MCF-7-Zellen wurde 17 β-Estradiol eingesetzt. Die Östrogenspezifität wurde durch Zugabe des ER-Antagonisten ICI182,780 zu der Zellkultur bewiesen.

Ergebnisse: Der Rheum-rhaponticum- und der Cimicifuga-racemosa-Extrakt induzierten keine Proliferation von MCF-7 oder MDA-MB-231-Zellen. Hohe Konzentrationen (100 µg/mL) von Rheum-rhaponticum- und Trifolium-pratense-Extrakt waren für beide Zelllinien toxisch. Trifolium pratense erhöhte die Proliferation von MCF-7 Zellen diskret dosisabhängig, aber dieser Effekt war nicht östrogenspezifisch.

Schlussfolgerung: Unsere Ergebnisse zeigen, dass die verwendeten Extrakte keinen östrogenspezifischen Einfluss auf die Proliferation von ER-abhängigen und ER-unabhängigen Brustkrebszellen haben.

a Center for Complementary Medicine, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University Medical Center Freiburg, Germany

b Department of Pharmacognosy, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

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