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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2008, Vol. 6 ›› Issue (10): 1040-1044.doi: 10.3736/jcim20081010

• Original Experimental Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Shengqing Capsule down-regulates estrogen and progesterone receptors in epithelial tissue of gallbladder in guinea pigs with gallstone

Jiong Li(), Jing-zhe Zhang, Chang-peng Zou, Bang-jiang Fang, Xiao-qiang Liang   

  1. Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Longhua Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 200032, China
  • Received:2008-04-10 Online:2008-10-20 Published:2008-10-15


To study the role of estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR) in the formation of cholesterol calculus and investigate the effects of Shengqing Capsule (SQC), a Chinese patent herbal medicine with the function of soothing liver and draining gallbladder, on ER and PR expressions.


A total of 80 female guinea pigs were divided into normal control group, untreated group, ursodeoxycholic acid group (UDCA group) and SQC group. The cholesterol gallstone was induced by feeding the guinea pigs with high-fat lithogenic diet. SQC and UDCA were separately administered to the guinea pigs in the SQC group and UDCA group. After 7-week administration, all the animals were sacrificed to calculate the incidence of calculus formation and detect the expressions the ER and PR in the epithelial tissue of gallbladder by immunohistochemical method.


Gallstone was cholesterol calculus detected by infrared spectrum. The incidence of calculus formation in the SQC group (27.78%) was significantly lower than that in the untreated group (81.25%) (χ 2=9.721 5, P=0.001 8). On the basis of Reiner standard, the expression distribution of ER and PR increased gradually from the normal control group through the SQC group and UDCA group to the untreated group. Except for the former two groups and the latter two groups, the differences between the other groups and UDCA group were statistically significant (P<0.05). Besides, the differences of positive expression rates between groups were statistically significant (P<0.05).


Increased expressions of ER and PR are closely related to the formation of cholesterol stone. And Shengqing Capsule can down-regulate the expressions of ER and PR.

Key words: estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, cholesterol calculus, guinea pigs, Shengqing Capsule

CLC Number: 

  • R737.9

Table 1

ER expression rate and semi-quantitative grade in epithelial tissue in different groups"

Group n Grade of ER expression ER expression rate (%)
+ ++ +++
Normal control 19 14 3 2 0 26.3
Untreated 16 5 2 4 5 68.8*
UDCA 18 6 2 6 4 66.7*
SQC 18 12 3 2 1 33.3△▲

Figure 1

ER expression in the epithelial tissue of gallbladder of guinea pigs tested by immunohistochemical method (Light microscopy, ×400) A: ER expression (–); B: ER expression (+); C: ER expression (++); D: ER expression (+++)."

Table 2

PR expression rate and semi-quantitative grade in epithelial tissue in different groups"

Group n Grade of PR expression PR expression rate (%)
+ ++ +++
Normal control 19 16 2 1 0 15.8
Untreated 16 6 2 3 5 62.5*
UDCA 18 7 2 4 5 61.1*
SQC 18 11 6 1 0 38.9△▲

Figure 2

PR expression in the epithelial tissue of gallbladder of guinea pigs tested by immunohistochemical method (Light microscopy, ×400) A: PR expression (–); B: PR expression (+); C: PR expression (++); D: PR expression (+++)."

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