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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2012, Article ID 730462, 10 pages
Research Article

Genistein Attenuates Vascular Endothelial Impairment in Ovariectomized Hyperhomocysteinemic Rats

1Department of Pathology, The Luhe Teaching Hospital of the Capital Medical University, 82 Xinhuanan Road, Tongzhou District, Beijing 101149, China
2Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Capital Medical University, You An Men Wai, Fengtai District, Beijing 100069, China
3The Key Laboratory of Remodeling-Related Cardiovascular Diseases, Beijing An Zhen Hospital, Capital Medical University, Ministry of Education, 2 Anzhen Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100029, China
4Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, 5 Dong Dan San Tiao, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100005, China

Received 27 March 2012; Revised 14 October 2012; Accepted 15 October 2012

Academic Editor: Paul Higgins

Copyright © 2012 Panpan Zhen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy) is a well-known independent risk factor for vascular diseases in the general population. This study was to explore the effect of genistein (GST), a natural bioactive compound derived from legumes, on HHcy-induced vascular endothelial impairment in ovariectomized rats in vivo. Thirty-two adult female Wistar rats were assigned randomly into four groups ( ): (a) Con: control; (b) Met: 2.5% methionine diet; (c) OVX + Met: ovariectomy + 2.5% methionine diet; (d) OVX + Met + GST: ovariectomy + 2.5% methionine diet + supplementation with genistein. After 12 wk of different treatment, the rats' blood, toracic aortas and liver samples were collected for analysis. Results showed that high-methionine diet induced both elevation of plasma Hcy and endothelial dysfunction, and ovariectomy deteriorated these injuries. Significant improvement of both functional and morphological changes of vascular endothelium was observed in OVX + Met + GST group; meanwhile the plasma Hcy levels decreased remarkably. There were significant elevations of plasma ET-1 and liver MDA levels in ovariectomized HHcy rats, and supplementation with genistein could attenuate these changes. These results implied that genistein could lower the elevated Hcy levels, and prevent the development of endothelial impairment in ovariectomized HHcy rats. This finding may shed a novel light on the anti-atherogenic activities of genistein in HHcy patients.