Silibinin promotes osteoblast differentiation of human bone marrow stromal cells via bone morphogenetic protein signaling

Xiaozhou Ying, Liaojun Sun, Xiaowei Chen, Huazi Xu, Xiaoshan Guo, Hua Chen, Jianjun Hong, Shaowen Cheng, Lei Peng
European Journal of Pharmacology 2013 December 5, 721 (1): 225-30
Silibinin is the major active constituent of the natural compound silymarin; several studies suggest that silibinin possesses antihepatotoxic properties and anticancer effects against carcinoma cells. However, no study has yet investigated the effect of silibinin on osteogenic differentiation of human bone marrow stem cells (hBMSCs). The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of silibinin on osteogenic differentiation of hBMSCs. In this study, the hBMSCs were cultured in an osteogenic medium with 0, 1, 10 or 20 μmol/l silibinin respectively. hBMSCs viability was analyzed by cell number quantification assay and cells osteogenic differentiation was evaluated by alkaline phosphatas (ALP) activity assay, Von Kossa staining and real time-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). We found that silibinin promoted ALP activity in hBMSCs without affecting their proliferation. The mineralization of hBMSCs was enhanced by treatment with silibinin. Silibinin also increased the mRNA expressions of Collagen type I (COL-I), ALP, Osteocalcin (OCN), Osterix, bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) and Runt-related transcription factor 2 (RUNX2). The BMP antagonist noggin and its receptor kinase inhibitors dorsomorphin and LDN-193189 attenuated silibinin-promoted ALP activity. Furthermore, BMP-responsive and Runx2-responsive reporters were activated by silibinin treatment. These results indicate that silibinin enhances osteoblast differentiation probably by inducing the expressions of BMPs and activating BMP and RUNX2 pathways. Thus, silibinin may play an important therapeutic role in osteoporosis patients by improving osteogenic differentiation of BMSCs.

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