[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Icariin has been mostly reported to enhance bone fracture healing and treat postmenopausal osteoporosis in ovariectomized animal model. As another novel animal model of osteoporosis, there is few publication about the effect of Icariin on osteoprotegerin-deficient mice. Therefore, the goal of this study is to find the effect on bone formation and underlying mechanisms of Icariin in osteoprotegerin (OPG) knockout (KO) mice. We found that Icariin significantly stimulated new bone formation after local injection over the surface of calvaria at the dose of 5 mg/kg per day. With this dose, Icariin was also capable of significantly reversing OPG-deficient-induced bone loss and bone strength reduction. Real-time PCR analysis showed that Icariin significantly upregulated the expression of BMP2, BMP4, RUNX2, OC, Wnt1, and Wnt3a in OPG KO mice. Icariin also significantly increased the expression of AXIN2, DKK1, TCF1, and LEF1, which are the direct target genes of β -catenin signaling. The in vitro studies showed that Icariin induced osteoblast differentiation through the activation of Wnt/ β -catenin-BMP signaling by in vitro deletion of the β -catenin gene using β -catenin(fx/fx) mice. Together, our findings demonstrate that Icariin significantly reverses the phenotypes of OPG-deficient mice through the activation of Wnt/ β -catenin-BMP signaling.
Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 01/2013; 2013:652317. · 2.18 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vascular invasion into the normally avascular articular surface is a hallmark of advanced osteoarthritis (OA). In this study, we demonstrated that the expression of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-2 (TIMP2), an anti-angiogenic factor, was present at high levels in normal articular chondrocytes, and was drastically decreased shortly after destabilization of the medial meniscus (DMM). We also investigated the anti-angiogenic properties of TIMP2 via knockout. We hypothesized that the loss of TIMP2 could accelerate osteoarthritis development via promotion of angiogenesis. Loss of TIMP2 led to increased periarticular vascular formation 1 month post DMM, compared to wild-type mice, and did so without altering the expression pattern of matrix metalloproteinases and vascular endothelial growth factors. The increased vascularization eventually resulted in a severe degeneration of the articular surface by 4 months post DMM. Our findings suggest that reduction of TIMP2 levels and increased angiogenesis are possible primary events in OA progression. Inhibiting or delaying angiogenesis by TIMP2 expression or other anti-angiogenic therapies could improve OA prevention and treatment.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 06/2012; 423(2):366-72. · 2.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Osteoporosis is a growing worldwide problem, with the greatest burden resulting from fractures. Nevertheless, the majority of fractures in adults occur in those with "osteopenia" (bone mineral density (BMD) only moderately lower than young normal individuals). Since long-term drug therapy is an expensive option with uncertain consequences and side effects, natural herbal therapy offers an attractive alternative. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effect on BMD and safety of the Classic Yin and Yang Tonic Formula for treatment of osteopenia and to investigate the mechanism by which this efficacy is achieved.
We propose a multicenter double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the Classic Yin and Yang Tonic Formula for the treatment of osteopenia. Participants aged 55 to 75 with low bone mineral density (T-score between -1 and -2.5) and kidney deficiency in TCM will be included and randomly allocated into two groups: treatment group and control group. Participants in the treatment group will be treated with Classic Yin and Yang Tonic Granule, while the controlled group will receive placebo. Primary outcome measure will be BMD of the lumbar spine and proximal femur using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Secondary outcomes will include pain intensity measured with visual analogue scales, quality of life, serum markers of bone metabolism, indices of Neuro-endocrino-immune network and safety.
If the Classic Yin and Yang Tonic Formula can increase bone mass without adverse effects, it may be a novel strategy for the treatment of osteoporosis. Furthermore, the mechanism of the Chinese medical formula for osteoporosis will be partially elucidated.
This study is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01271647.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The key to treating steroid-induced necrosis of femoral heads (SINFH) is early diagnosis. Dramatic improvements in diagnosis could be made if the pathogenesis of SINFH was more fully understood; however, the underlying mechanism of this disease is currently unknown. To explore the potential mechanism of SINFH, we performed gene array analysis on a rat model of the disease and compare the expression profile with that of normal rats. A quantitative RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry (IHC) assays were used to confirm the microarray results. Compared to the control group, 190 genes in the experimental group were differentially expressed, with 52 up-regulated and 138 down-regulated. Of these genes, 102 are known (deposited in GenBank), while 88 of them are unknown. The known genes can be divided into several families according to their biological functions, such as oxidative stress, apoptosis, signal transduction, angiogenesis, extracellular matrix, lipid metabolism, and transcription related genes. The results of quantitative RT-PCR and IHC were consistent with gene chip results. Our findings indicate that many genes involved in diverse signaling pathways were differentially expressed between SINFH rats and normal rats. Furthermore, our findings suggest that the development of SINFH is a complicated and dynamic process affected by multiple factors and signaling pathways and regulated by various genes.
Calcified Tissue International 07/2011; 89(4):271-84. · 2.75 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Osteoporosis is defined as reduced bone mineral density with a high risk of fragile fracture. Current available treatment regimens include antiresorptive drugs such as estrogen receptor analogues and bisphosphates and anabolic agents such as parathyroid hormone (PTH). However, neither option is completely satisfactory because of adverse effects. It is thus highly desirable to identify novel anabolic agents to improve future osteoporosis treatment. Osthole, a coumarin-like derivative extracted from Chinese herbs, has been shown to stimulate osteoblast proliferation and differentiation, but its effect on bone formation in vivo and underlying mechanism remain unknown. In this study, we found that local injection of Osthole significantly increased new bone formation on the surface of mouse calvaria. Ovariectomy caused evident bone loss in rats, whereas Osthole largely prevented such loss, as shown by improved bone microarchitecture, histomorphometric parameters, and biomechanical properties. In vitro studies demonstrated that Osthole activated Wnt/beta-catenin signaling, increased Bmp2 expression, and stimulated osteoblast differentiation. Targeted deletion of the beta-catenin and Bmp2 genes abolished the stimulatory effect of Osthole on osteoblast differentiation. Since deletion of the Bmp2 gene did not affect Osthole-induced beta-catenin expression and the deletion of the beta-catenin gene inhibited Osthole-regulated Bmp2 expression in osteoblasts, we propose that Osthole acts through beta-catenin-BMP signaling to promote osteoblast differentiation. Our findings demonstrate that Osthole could be a potential anabolic agent to stimulate bone formation and prevent estrogen deficiency-induced bone loss.
Journal of bone and mineral research: the official journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research 06/2010; 25(6):1234-45. · 6.04 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: While it has long been known that amelogenin is essential for the proper development of enamel, its role has generally been seen as structural in nature. However, our new data implicate this protein in the regulation of cell signaling pathways in periodontal ligament cells and osteoblasts. In this article we report the successful purification of a recombinant mouse amelogenin protein and demonstrate that it has signaling activity in isolated mouse calvarial cells and human periodontal ligament cells.
To determine the regulatory function of canonical Wnt signaling by amelogenin, we used TOPGAL transgenic mice. These mice express a beta-galactosidase transgene under the control of a LEF/TCF and beta-catenin-inducible promoter. To investigate in greater detail the molecular mechanisms involved in the beta-catenin signaling pathway, isolated osteoblasts and periodontal ligament cells were exposed to full-length recombinant mouse amelogenin and were evaluated for phenotypic changes and beta-catenin signaling using a TOPFLASH construct and the LacZ reporter gene.
In these in vitro models, we showed that amelogenin can activate beta-catenin signaling.
Using the TOPGAL transgenic mouse we showed that amelogenin expression in vivo is localized mainly around the root, the periodontal ligament and the alveolar bone.
Journal of Periodontal Research 07/2009; 44(3):289-96. · 2.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Our study aimed to establish a model of compression injury of cervical dorsal root ganglia (DRG) in the rat and to investigate the pathological changes following compression injury and decompression procedures. Thirty rats were divided into three groups: control group receiving sham surgery, compression group undergoing surgery to place a micro-silica gel on C6 DRG, and decompression group with subsequent decompression procedure. The samples harvested from the different groups were examined with light microscopy, ultrastructural analysis, and horseradish peroxidase (HRP) retrograde tracing techniques. Apoptosis of DRG neurons was demonstrated with TUNEL staining. Changes in PGE2 and PLA2 in DRG neurons were detected with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Local expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was monitored with immunohistochemistry. DRG neurons in the compression group became swollen with vacuolar changes in cytoplasm. Decompression procedure partially ameliorated the resultant compression pathology. Ultrastructural examination showed a large number of swollen vacuoles, demyelinated nerve root fibers, absence of Schwann cells, and proliferation in the surrounding connective tissues in the compression group. Compared to the control group, the compression group showed a significant decrease in the number of the HRP-labeled cells and a significant increase in levels of PGE2 and PLA2, in the expression of VEGF protein, and in the number of apoptotic DRG neurons. These findings demonstrate that compression results in local inflammation, followed by increased apoptosis and upregulation of VEGF. We conclude that such a model provides a tool to study the pathogenesis and treatment of cervical radiculoneuropathy.
Journal of neurotrauma 03/2009; 26(2):289-95. · 4.25 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abnormal maturation and ossification of the endplate chondrocytes play a central role in the pathogenesis of degenerative disorders of the cervical spine. It is widely held that insulin like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) stimulates chondrocyte proliferation and inhibits chondrocyte terminal differentiation both in vitro and in vivo. However, the mechanism underlying such regulation is not fully understood. The present study aimed to determine the role of IGF-1 on the mRNA expression of collagen type II, alpha 1 (Col2a1) and matrix metallopeptidase 13 (MMP-13) in rat endplate chondrocytes. The possible pathways that transduce IGF-1 effects such as phosphatidylinositol-3 (PI-3)-kinase (PI3K) and mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) were also investigated in these cells.
Cultured endplate chondrocytes harvested from rat cervical spines were treated with IGF-1 (100ng/ml), and the changes in Col2a1 and MMP-13 mRNA were monitored with real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). MMP-13 activity was also assayed. Activation of signaling proteins was evaluated by western blot analysis. Cells were also treated with pharmacological agents that block PI3K and MAPK signaling pathways.
IGF-1 increased Col2a1 mRNA expression in rat endplate chondrocytes in a time- and dose-dependent manner. IGF-1 treatment resulted in a fourfold increase of Col2a1 mRNA with the effect maximizing at 24h. In contrast, IGF-1 treatment for 24h caused a roughly 50% reduction in MMP-13 mRNA. Similar effects were seen on the protein levels of type II collagen (col2) and MMP-13. Consistent with these results, IGF-1 also repressed MMP-13 activity. IGF-1 activated both the PI3K and the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathways as evidenced by phosphorylation of either Akt or ERK1/2 (respectively). The PI3K inhibitor Wartmannin significantly inhibited the IGF-1 effect on Col2a1 mRNA expression but did not affect IGF-1-induced repression of MMP-13 expression. In contrast, the ERK/MAPK inhibitor PD98059 significantly inhibited the effect of IGF-1 on MMP-13 mRNA repression and enhanced IGF-1-induced Col2a1 mRNA expression.
In rat endplate chondrocytes the PI3K pathway mainly transduces IGF-1 effect on col2 expression while the ERK pathway mediates IGF-1 effect on MMP-13 expression.
Osteoarthritis and Cartilage 07/2008; 17(1):100-6. · 4.26 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The AHR mediates many of the toxicological effects of aromatic hydrocarbons. We show that AHR expression in osteoblasts parallels the induction of early bone-specific genes involved in maturation. The AHR may not only mediate the effects of toxicants, but with an as yet unidentified ligand, be involved in the differentiation pathways of osteoblasts.
Metabolic bone diseases arise as a result of an imbalance in bone cell activities. Recent evidence suggests that environmental toxicants may be contributing factors altering these activities. One candidate molecule implicated in mediating the toxic effects of exogenous compounds is the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR).
Osteoblasts isolated from neonatal rat calvaria were analyzed for AHR expression by quantitative PCR, Western blot, and immunohistochemistry. In addition, AHR activation was evaluated by electromobility gel shift assay and fluorescence microscopy.
Our findings showed AHR expression in mature osteoblasts in vivo. The pattern of AHR expression peaks after alkaline phosphatase and before induction of osteocalcin. We first show that AHR functions as a transactivating receptor in osteoblasts, as evidenced by its ligand-dependent migration to the nucleus and its association with known dioxin response elements. AHR activation by 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) mediated the induction of cytochrome p450 1A1 and cycloxygenase-2 protein levels. This effect could be inhibited by the potent AHR antagonist, 3'4 methoxynitroflavone. Furthermore, lead treatment of osteoblasts upregulates the expression of AHR mRNA and protein levels, supporting a novel mechanism whereby lead in the skeleton may increase the sensitivity of bone cells to toxicant exposure.
These data imply that the AHR mediates the effects of aromatic toxicants on bone and that AHR expression is regulated during osteoblast differentiation.
Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 11/2007; 22(10):1571-80. · 6.59 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this treatise we will examine complexities in the development and function of cells of the musculoskeletal system. Specifically, the role of chondrocytes and their ontogeny and osteoblasts and their ontogeny will be discussed as they regulate cartilage and bone formation. This background information will provide the foundation for evaluating the effects of environmental toxicants on skeletal development. A number of agents such as heavy metals (i.e. lead) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (i.e. pesticides and cigarette smoke) interact with cells of the skeletal system and adversely affect development. These agents have not been of major research interest, nevertheless, given changes in the environmental profile of the United States and other developed countries, it is important that we understand their effects in bone and cartilage. Research in this area will identify strategies that may be used to help prevent musculoskeletal diseases due to toxicant exposure.
Birth Defects Research Part C Embryo Today Reviews 04/2007; 81(1):41-50. · 3.87 Impact Factor