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Original Research

Open Access


  • Hyun Joo Chung1,2
  • Jin-Wook Kim1
  • Chae-Eun Lee1,2
  • Soon Chul Myung1,2

1Department of Urology, Chung-Ang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea

2Bio-Integration Research Center for Nutra-Pharmaceutical Epigenetics, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Republic of Korea

DOI: 10.31083/jomh.v16i4.282 Vol.16,Issue 4,October 2020 pp.45-53

Published: 01 October 2020

*Corresponding Author(s): Soon Chul Myung E-mail:

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Background and objective

Many plant extracts have various effects on diseases. In particular, some medicinal plants have been shown to have steroidogenic effects in men. However, the effects of Korean rice bran extract (RBE) on steroidogenesis in men have not been reported previously. Accordingly, in this study, we investigated the effects of RBE (Oryza sativa L.) on mouse normal Leydig cells (TM3), which produce testosterone with increasing levels of key enzymes (e.g., StAR, CYP11A1, and CYP17A1) for male steroidogenesis.

Material and methods

Using mouse normal Leydig cells (TM3), we determined whether RBE had steroidogenic effects by eval-uating changes in the levels of steroidogenesis-related enzymes, such as StAR (steroidogenic acute regu-latory protein), CYP11A1, and CYP17A1, using quantitative real-time PCR, western blotting analysis, and ELISA method.


RBE significantly enhanced mRNA and protein levels of StAR, CYP11A1, and CYP17A1, thereby enhanc-ing synthetic testosterone levels in mouse Leydig TM3 cell supernatants. These findings indicated that RBE increased the levels of steroidogenic enzymes to modulate steroidogenesis.


RBE enhanced mRNA and protein levels of key enzymes including StAR, CYP11A1, and CYP17A1 for male steroidogenesis. These changes could induce testosterone production by TM3 cells in vitro. Thus, RBE may be used as a food additive or medicinal plant for the treatment of diseases characterized by insuf-ficient testosterone (e.g., late-onset hypogonadism).


Korean rice bran extract; Oryza sativa L.; medicinal plant; steroidogenesis; late-onset hypogonadism

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