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Η ικαριίνη (icariin; ICA), ένας φαρμακολογικώς ενεργός φλαβονοειδής γλυκοζίτης, είναι ένα από τα πιο άφθονα συστατικά του Herba Epimedii (επιμήδιο), ενός φαρμακευτικού φυτού που έχει χρησιμοποιηθεί εδώ και χιλιάδες χρόνια και ακόμα χρησιμοποιείται για την θεραπεία της οστεοπόρωσης στην παραδοσιακή Κινεζική ιατρική (1).

Σύμφωνα με πρόσφατες μελέτες, η ICA διαθέτει αντιοξειδωτικές, ανοσορυθμιστικές, αντινεοπλασματικές (2, 3) και οιστρογονικές (4, 5) δράσεις. Λόγω της οιστρογονικής δομής της (6, 7) προάγει την οστεογένεση και, επι πλέον, καταστέλλει την οστική απορρόφηση και την οστεοκλαστογένεση (8, 9, 10).


1. Indran IR, Liang RL, Min TE, Yong EL. Preclinical studies and clinical evaluation of compounds from the genus Epimedium for osteoporosis and bone health. Pharmacol Ther. 2016 ;162 : 188–205. [PubMed]

2. Li S, Dong P, Wang J, Zhang J, Gu J, Wu X, Wu W, Fei X, Zhang Z, Wang Y, et al. Icariin, a natural flavonol glycoside, induces apoptosis in human hepatoma SMMC-7721 cells via a ROS/JNK-dependent mitochondrial pathway. Cancer Lett. 2010; 298 : 222–230. [PubMed]

3. Zhou J, Wu J, Chen X, Fortenbery N, Eksioglu E, Kodumudi KN, Pk EB, Dong J, Djeu JY, Wei S. Icariin and its derivative, ICT, exert anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor effects, and modulate myeloid derived suppressive cells (MDSCs) functions. Int Immunopharmacol. 2011; 11 : 890–898. [PubMed]

4. Wang Z, Zhang X, Wang H, Qi L, Lou Y. Neuroprotective effects of icaritin against beta amyloid-induced neurotoxicity in primary cultured rat neuronal cells via estrogen-dependent pathway. Neuroscience. 2007; 145 : 911–922. [PubMed]

5. Yang L, Lu D, Guo J, Meng X, Zhang G, Wang F. Icariin from Epimedium brevicornum Maxim promotes the biosynthesis of estrogen by aromatase (CYP19) J Ethnopharmacol. 2013; 145: 715–721.[PubMed]

6. Zhang G, Qin L, Sheng H, Yeung KW, Yeung HY, Cheung WH, Griffith J, Chan CW, Lee KM, Leung KS. Epimedium-derived phytoestrogen exert beneficial effect on preventing steroid-associated osteonecrosis in rabbits with inhibition of both thrombosis and lipid-deposition. Bone. 2007; 40 : 685–692. [PubMed]

7. Ye HY, Lou YJ. Estrogenic effects of two derivatives of icariin on human breast cancer MCF-7 cells. Phytomedicine. 2005; 12 : 735–741 [PubMed]

8. Yamaguchi M, Gao YH. Inhibitory effect of genistein on bone resorption in tissue culture. Biochem Pharmacol. 1998; 55 : 71–76. [PubMed]

9. Chen KM, Ge BF, Liu XY, Ma PH, Lu MB, Bai MH, Wang Y. Icariin inhibits the osteoclast formation induced by RANKL and macrophage-colony stimulating factor in mouse bone marrow culture. Pharmazie. 2007;62:388–391. [PubMed]

10. Huang J, Yuan L, Wang X, Zhang TL, Wang K. Icaritin and its glycosides enhance osteoblastic, but suppress osteoclastic, differentiation and activity in vitro. Life Sci. 2007;81:832–840. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2007.07.015. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]

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