Tracking deposition of a 14C-radiolabeled kudzu hairy root-derived isoflavone-rich fraction into bone

Jonathan G. Mun, Michael D. Grannan, Pamela J. Lachcik, Randy B. Rogers, Gad G. Yousef, Mary H. Grace, Elsa M. Janle, Qing Li Wu, James E. Simon, Connie M. Weaver, Mary Ann Lila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hairy roots were induced in four genotypes from three kudzu species (Pueraria montana var. lobata, P. lobata and P. phaseoloides) in vitro using Agrobacterium rhizogenes to stimulate rapid secondary metabolite synthesis. Hairy roots from P. montana var. lobata (United States Department of Agriculture no. PI 434246) yielded the highest puerarin and total isoflavone content and the greatest new biomass per growth cycle among the genotypes evaluated. Hairy roots from this genotype were selected for radiolabeling using 14C-sucrose as a carbon source. Isoflavones from radiolabeled kudzu hairy root cultures were extracted with 80% methanol, partitioned by solvent extraction, and then subfractionated by Sephadex LH-20 gel filtration. Radiolabeled isoflavones were isolated in a highly enriched fraction, which contained predominantly puerarin, daidzin and malonyl-daidzin and had an average radioactivity of 8.614 MBq/g (232.8 μCi/g) dry fraction. The 14C-radiolabeled, isoflavone-rich fraction was orally administered at a dose of 60 mg/kg body weight to male Sprague-Dawley rats implanted with a jugular catheter, a subcutaneous ultrafiltrate probe and a brain microdialysate probe. Serum, interstitial fluid, brain microdialysate, urine and feces were collected using a Culexw Automated Blood Collection System for 24 h. At the end of this period, rats were sacrificed and major tissues were collected. Analysis by a scintillation counter confirmed that a bolus dose of 14C- radiolabeled, isoflavone-rich kudzu fraction reached bone tissues, which accumulated 0.011%, 0.09% and 0.003% of the administered dose in femur, tibia and vertebrae, respectively. Femurs extracted with 80% methanol were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography with electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry and were found to contain trace quantities of puerarin, daidzein and puerarin glucuronide. This study demonstrates that kudzu isoflavones and metabolites are capable of reaching bone tissues, where they may contribute to the prevention of osteoporosis and the promotion of bone health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1224-1235
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2010


  • Hairy roots
  • Isoflavones
  • Kudzu
  • Metabolic tracking
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Puerarin
  • Radiolabeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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