Register TC, Cann JA, Kaplan JR, Williams JK, Adams MR, Morgan TM, Anthony MS, Blair RM, Wagner JD, Clarkson TB. Effects of soy isoflavones and conjugated equine estrogens on inflammatory markers in atherosclerotic, ovariectomized monkeys. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2005 Mar;90(3):1734-40.

The effects of dietary soy isoflavones (IF) and conjugated equine estrogens (CEE) on circulating inflammatory markers were determined at the end of a 3-yr study of ovariectomized monkeys consuming a moderately atherogenic diet. Treatments were: 1) control, receiving alcohol-extracted soy-protein-based diet with low IF content (comparable to approximately 5 mg/d); 2) CEE, added to the control diet at a dose comparable to 0.625 mg/d; and 3) IF, consumed as a part of unextracted soy protein isolate at a dose comparable to 129 mg/d. Serum soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (sVCAM-1) was reduced by both IF (P < 0.006) and CEE (P < 0.0001) relative to controls. Serum monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1 was reduced by CEE (P < 0.0001) but not by IF (P = 1.00). Treatments did not affect serum IL-6 (P = 0.40), soluble E-selectin (P = 0.17), or C-reactive protein (P = 0.15). Serum MCP-1 and, to a lesser extent, IL-6 significantly correlated with atherosclerosis (plaque area) in the iliac and carotid arteries (all P < 0.05). Serum MCP-1 was also strongly associated with coronary artery atherosclerosis and with indices of plaque inflammation and matrix remodeling (matrix metalloproteinase-9) in the coronary artery intima (all P < 0.01). We conclude that, in this well-established nonhuman primate model of atherosclerosis, this dose of soy IF provided an antiinflammatory effect specific for sVCAM-1, whereas the effects of CEE extended to both sVCAM-1 and MCP1. It is possible that the atheroprotective effects of IF and CEE are mediated, at least in part, by effects on VCAM-1. The sites of IF inhibitory effects on sVCAM-1 production are not known, but likely candidates include the liver and/or the cardiovascular system.

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