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Genistein as an anti-inflammatory agent

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Objective and design: The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of the isoflavone genistein on in vivo cell-mediated responses. In addition, we wanted to study the influence of genistein on collagen induced arthritis (CIA) in mice.

Methods: Delayed type hypersensitivity reaction (DTH) to oxazolone and the inflammatory response to olive oil were measured in mice treated with genistein. In addition, the impact of genistein treatment on disease progression and outcome of collagen induced arthritis (CIA) was examined.

Results: The DTH reaction to oxazolone and the granulocyte-mediated response were significantly suppressed in genistein-treated as compared to control mice. Also, genistein treatment led to decreased levels of oxazolone-specific antibodies. Histologically, mice exposed to genistein and immunized with collagen II displayed somewhat lower degree of inflammation and joint destruction. In addition, serum levels of autoantibodies to collagen II were significantly lower following genistein-treatment in immunized mice.

Conclusion: We conclude that genistein exerts evident anti-inflammatory properties affecting granulocytes, monocytes, and lymphocytes.

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Correspondence to M. Verdrengh.

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Received 2 September 2002; returned for revision 30 January 2003; returned for final revision 3 March 2003; accepted by M. J. Parnham 9 April 2003

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Verdrengh, M., Jonsson, I.M., Holmdahl, R. et al. Genistein as an anti-inflammatory agent. Inflamm. res. 52, 341–346 (2003).

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