A standardized extract of Danggui Buxue Tang decoction selectively exerts estrogenic activities distinctly from tamoxifen

Liping Zhou, Ka Ying Wong, Sisi Cao, Christina Chui Wa Poon, Wenxuan Yu, Xiaoli Dong, Karl Wah Keung Tsim, Man Sau Wong (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


More and more menopausal women use Danggui Buxue Tang (DBT) for relieving their symptoms. Concerns for its safety have been raised as it contains phytoestrogen and acts via estrogen receptors (ERs). Our study aimed to determine whether DBT could selectively exert estrogenic activities and interact with tamoxifen in bone, brain, uterus, and breast by using ovariectomized (OVX) rats and ER-positive cells. In OVX rats, DBT induced a 31.4% increase in bone mineral density and restored the mRNA expression of dopamine biomarker in striatum, 3.32-fold for tyrosine hydrolase (p <.001) and 0.21-fold for dopamine transporter (p <.001), which was similar to tamoxifen; tamoxifen, but not DBT, increased uterus weight and Complement component 3 expression by more than twofold (p <.001); unlike tamoxifen, DBT induced mild proliferation in mammary gland. Two-way ANOVA indicated the interactions between them in OVX rats (p <.05) but DBT did not alter the responses to tamoxifen. DBT stimulated proliferation or differentiation and estrogen response element in MCF-7, MG-63, Ishikawa, and SHSY5Y cells and altered the effects of tamoxifen. In summary, DBT exerted estrogenic effects in tissue-selective manner, which was different from tamoxifen. DBT interacted with tamoxifen but did not significantly alter its effects in OVX rats.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1456-1467
Number of pages12
JournalPhytotherapy Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • Danggui Buxue Tang decoction
  • estrogen receptors
  • estrogenic activities
  • phytoestrogen
  • selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs)
  • tissue-selectivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

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