Established in 1999, the UIC/NIH Center for Botanical Dietary Supplements Research (UIC Botanical Center) investigates the safety and mechanisms of action of botanical dietary supplements consumed by American women for the purpose of maintaining good health and quality of life, especially during the transition to and through menopause. The UIC Botanical Center involves a synergistic team of multi-disciplinary investigators with complementary expertise who are organized into three Projects, an Administrative Core and three research Cores as follows: Project 1: Metabolomic Analysis, Design and Standardization of Botanical Extracts; Project 2: Botanicals Affect Resilience Through Modulation of Estrogen Carcinogenic Pathways; Project 3: Botanical Dietary Supplements - Metabolism and Safety in Women; Core A: Administration; Core B: Botanical Integrity; Core C: Bioassay; and Core D: Analytical. Our portfolio of botanicals for study was selected based on prevalence of use by American women and the documented ability of these botanicals to enhance resilience. These botanicals will include milk thistle (Silybum marianum), Valerian (Valeriana officinalis), Dang Gui (Angelica sinensis), Maca (Lepidium meyenii), licorice (Glycyrrhiza species), Chaste Tree Berry (Vitex agnus-castus), hops (Humulus lupulus), Kwao Keur (Pueraria mirifica), wild yam (Dioscorea villosa), rose root (Rhodiola rosea), and Five Flavor Berry (Schisandra chinensis). We propose to develop metabolomics tools for the advanced chemical and biological standardization of botanical dietary supplements in Project 1, study estrogenic and chemoprevention (resilience) mechanisms of action in Project 2, and investigate metabolism and potential for drug-botanical interactions (safety) both in vitro and in women in Project 3. Within each Project, there are highly innovative approaches that will be utilized including the knock- out/knock-in (DESIGNER) extract technology of Project 1; the concept in Project 2 that anti-inflammatory botanical dietary supplements can lower cytokine levels and thereby prevent formation of genotoxic estrogen metabolites; and the safety studies in Project 3 that involve high-throughput UHPLC-MS/MS detection of electrophilic metabolites and high-throughput cocktail assays of cytochrome P450 inhibition. With strong institutional support (personnel, space, services, and equipment), a commitment to educating the next generation of experts in botanical dietary supplements, an interactive team of researchers located within a single institution, and a synergist approach, we expect to sustain our high level of productivity as reflected in over 200 publications and 40 PhD and MS graduates. These studies will greatly impact the design of optimized botanical supplements and drive the long-term goal of the UIC Botanical Center toward developing safe and effective botanical dietary supplements for women's health.

Public Health Relevance

As menopausal women are currently using botanical dietary supplements as alternatives to hormone therapy (HT), it is urgent that the safety and efficacy of these products be determined through scientific investigation. It is our hypothesis that botanical dietary supplements can be used as safe and effective alternatives to HT, but preclinical and clinical studies are needed to establish mechanisms of action and to explore safety issues such as metabolism and drug-botanical interactions.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
Specialized Center (P50)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAT1)
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Hopp, Craig
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University of Illinois at Chicago
Schools of Pharmacy
United States
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Hajirahimkhan, Atieh; Mbachu, Obinna; Simmler, Charlotte et al. (2018) Estrogen Receptor (ER) Subtype Selectivity Identifies 8-Prenylapigenin as an ER? Agonist from Glycyrrhiza inflata and Highlights the Importance of Chemical and Biological Authentication. J Nat Prod 81:966-975
Liu, Yang; Zhang, Yu; Chen, Shao-Nong et al. (2018) The influence of natural deep eutectic solvents on bioactive natural products: studying interactions between a hydrogel model and Schisandra chinensis metabolites. Fitoterapia 127:212-219
Liu, Yang; Friesen, J Brent; McAlpine, James B et al. (2018) Natural Deep Eutectic Solvents: Properties, Applications, and Perspectives. J Nat Prod 81:679-690
Rue, Emily A; Rush, Michael D; van Breemen, Richard B (2018) Procyanidins: a comprehensive review encompassing structure elucidation via mass spectrometry. Phytochem Rev 17:1-16
Simmler, Charlotte; Graham, James G; Chen, Shao-Nong et al. (2018) Integrated analytical assets aid botanical authenticity and adulteration management. Fitoterapia 129:401-414
Dunlap, Tareisha L; Howell, Caitlin E; Mukand, Nita et al. (2017) Red Clover Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor (AhR) and Estrogen Receptor (ER) Agonists Enhance Genotoxic Estrogen Metabolism. Chem Res Toxicol 30:2084-2092
Keiler, Annekathrin M; Macejova, Dana; Dietz, Birgit M et al. (2017) Evaluation of estrogenic potency of a standardized hops extract on mammary gland biology and on MNU-induced mammary tumor growth in rats. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 174:234-241
Huang, Lingyi; Nikolic, Dejan; van Breemen, Richard B (2017) Hepatic metabolism of licochalcone A, a potential chemopreventive chalcone from licorice (Glycyrrhiza inflata), determined using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Anal Bioanal Chem 409:6937-6948
AbouZid, Sameh F; Ahmed, Hayam S; Moawad, Abeer S et al. (2017) Chemotaxonomic and biosynthetic relationships between flavonolignans produced by Silybum marianum populations. Fitoterapia 119:175-184
Simmler, Charlotte; Lankin, David C; Nikoli?, Dejan et al. (2017) Isolation and structural characterization of dihydrobenzofuran congeners of licochalcone A. Fitoterapia 121:6-15

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