Induction of growth hormone by the roots ofAstragalus membranaceus in pituitary cell culture

Abstract

The traditional Asian medicinal herb, roots ofAstragalus (A.) membranaceus (Leguminosae), is used for many purposes, some of which are purported to stimulate the release of growth hormonein vivo. Extracts ofA. membranaceus were tested to determine whether they stimulate the release of growth hormone in rat pituitary cell culture.A. membranaceus was extracted sequentially with 80% ethanol (fraction A),n-hexane (fraction B); the test compound from the herbal extraction was isolated using silica gel column chromatography and was identified with spectral data. Test compound was also extracted by traditional boiling water methods. Induction of growth hormone in pituitary cell culture was conducted with isolated compounds and extracted fractions ofA. Radix (dried roots ofA. membranaceus). The fraction A was not active in the rat pituitary cell culture, but the fraction B derived from the ethanol fraction stimulated the release of growth hormone in culture. Six compounds from fraction B (1–6) were isolated and identified previously. The compounds 1,2-benzendicarboxylic acid diisononylester (1), ν-sitosterol (2), and 3-O-β-D-galactopyranosyl-β-sitosterol (5) did not induce growth hormone release in the culture. Formononetin (3), 9Z,12Z-octadecadienoic acid (4), stiqmast-e-en-6β-ol-3-one (6) and 98-E, a mixture of 1′-9,12-octadecadienoic acid (Z,Z)-2′,3′-dihydroxy-propylester (7) and 1′-hexadecanoic acid-2′,3′-dihydroxy-propylester (8) stimulated the release of growth hormone in the rat pituitary cell culture significantly compared to the control. In conclusions, four compounds isolated from extracts ofA. Radix induced growth hormone release in the rat pituitary cell culture. The 98-E isolate was the most active inducer of growth hormone release.

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Correspondence to Chungsook Kim.

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Kim, C., Ha, H., Kim, J.S. et al. Induction of growth hormone by the roots ofAstragalus membranaceus in pituitary cell culture. Arch Pharm Res 26, 34–39 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03179928

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Key words

  • Astragalus membranaceus
  • Leguminosae
  • Growth hormone
  • 1′-9,12-0ctadecadienoic acid (z,z)-2′ ,3′-dihydroxy-propylester
  • 1′-Hexadecanoic acid-2′,3′-dihydroxy-propylester