In the present study, we evaluated the individual and combined effects of environmental estrogens and flavonoids on the proliferation of human breast carcinoma MCF-7 cells. These compounds are as follows: (1) pharmaceutical chemicals such as diethylstilbestrol, 17α-ethynylestradiol (17ES), tamoxifen, mestranol, and clomiphene, (2) industrial chemicals such as bisphenol A (BisA), 4-octylphenol (OP), 4-nonylphenol (NP), and p,p′-biphenol, and (3) flavonoids such as daidzein (D), genistein (G), quercetin (Q), and luteolin (L). We found that nanomolar concentrations of 17ES, BisA, OP, and NP were sufficient to stimulate the proliferation of MCF-7 cells. Among them, 1 μM BisA exhibited cell proliferation–stimulating activity as strong as 10 nM 17β-estradiol; and D and G exhibited cell proliferation–stimulating activity at 10 nM. On the other hand, Q and L exhibited cell proliferation–inhibiting activity. We also found that 10 nM flavonoids, such as D, G, Q, and L, were able to inhibit the proliferation-stimulating activity in MCF-7 cells by 1 μM environmental estrogens.
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Vol. 37 • No. 5