Effect of safflower seeds supplementation on stimulation of the proliferation, differentiation and mineralization of osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cells

Kyung-Woon Kim, Suk-Jong Suh, Tae-Kyun Lee, Ki-Tae Ha, June-Ki Kim, Kyung-Hun Kim, Dong-Il Kim, Jae Heung Jeon, Tae-Chul Moon, Cheorl-Ho Kim
Journal of Ethnopharmacology 2008 January 4, 115 (1): 42-9
Anti-bone resorption properties of the Korean herbal formulation, Gami-Honghwain (HJ), which comprises Carthamus tinctorius L. seed and hominis placenta, were investigated. We demonstrate that the production of PGE2 is inhibited by 20-100 microg/ml HJ in nontransformed osteoblastic cells (MC3T3-E1 cells), indicating that HJ inhibits PGE2 production. The effect of HJ on the proliferation and osteoblastic differentiation in MC3T3-E1 was also studied. HJ dose-dependently increased DNA synthesis (significant at 20-100 microg/ml), and increased alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and prolyl hydroxylase activities of MC3T3-E1 cells (20-100 microg/ml), while anti-estrogen tamoxifen eliminated the stimulation of proliferation and ALP activity of MC3T3-E1 which was induced by HJ. These results indicate that HJ directly stimulates cell proliferation and differentiation of osteoblasts. Also, when we assessed the effects of HJ on osteoblastic differentiation in MC3T3-E1, HJ enhanced ALP activity and mineralization in a dose- and time-dependent fashion. This stimulatory effect of the HJ was observed at relatively low doses (significant at 20-100 microg/ml and maximal at 100 microg/ml). Northern blot analysis showed that the HJ (60 microg/ml) increased in bone morphogenetic protein-2 as well as ALP mRNA concentrations in MC3T3-E1 cells. HJ (100 microg/ml) slightly increased in type I collagen mRNA abundance throughout the culture period, whereas it markedly inhibited the gene expression of collagenase-1 between days 15 and 20 of culture. These results indicate that HJ has anabolic effect on bone through the promotion of osteoblastic differentiation, suggesting that it could be used for the treatment of common metabolic bone diseases.

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