1. Department of Biological Science and Technology, National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu, Taiwan.
2. School of Chinese Medicine, College of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan.
3. School of Psychology, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan.
4. Division of Biotechnology, Animal Technology Institute Taiwan, Miaoli, Taiwan
* Equal contribution as the first author.
Diosgenin, a traditional Yam extraction, has been used in hormone replacement for menopausal women. We aimed to investigate the influences of diosgenin administration upon the MMP-2 and -9 activity and expression and reproductive hormones of ovariectomized (OVX) rats, a model of menopausal status. Seven-week old female Wistar rats with bilateral OVX or sham operation (controls) were divided and administered different dosages of diosgenin (0, 10, 50, or 100 mg/kg/day) for 8 weeks. Serum was then sampled for progesterone (P4) and estradiol (E2) assay and uterine horns harvested. Myometrial MMP-2 and -9 activity and expression were surveyed and myometrial collagen expression was also assayed. The results show higher body weight in OVX rats across the 8 weeks post surgery and no significant differences were noted among OVX or Sham rats with diosgenin supplements. There were lower P4 and E2 concentrations in OVX rats compared to Sham rats, and higher P4 concentration of Sham rats post diosgenin supplement. MMP-2 and -9 mRNA expression and activity was lower in OVX rats, although higher MMP-2 and lower MMP-9 activity/mRNA expression was observed in OVX rats post diosgenin supplementation. Collagen mRNA expression was higher in OVX rats compared to Sham controls, and diosgenin administration decreased collagen mRNA expression in OVX rats. In conclusion, diosgenin is associated with gelatinase expression and collagen metabolism in OVX rats. Diosgenin administration can partially reverse the effects of OVX upon MMP functions and hormone status. Adequate diosgenin supplement might modulate myometrial gelatinase expression and collagen metabolism in menopausal subjects.
Keywords: diosgenin, gelatinase, matrix metalloproteinase, myometrium, ovariectomization