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Mol Cell Biochem. 2011 Dec;358(1-2):37-44. doi: 10.1007/s11010-011-0918-y. Epub 2011 Jun 23.

Maohuoside A promotes osteogenesis of rat mesenchymal stem cells via BMP and MAPK signaling pathways.

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School of Life Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, People's Republic of China.


Osteoporosis is becoming a more prevalent health problem with the aging of the population around the world. Epimedium koreanum Nakai is one of the most used herbs in East Asia for curing osteoporosis, with its major ingredient, icariin, mostly explored by researchers. In this article, maohuoside A (MHA), a single isolated compound from the herb, was identified to be more potent than icariin in promoting osteogenesis of rat bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (rMSCs) (increasing by 16.6, 33.3, and 15.8% on D3, D7, and D11, respectively). Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) assay and calcium content measurement were assigned to quantify the promoted osteogenesis and alizarin red S (ARS) staining was conducted to visualize it. Quantitative real-time PCR (Q-PCR) was assayed to evaluate the mRNA expression of marker genes in osteogenesis and master regulators in BMP pathway. Moreover, PD98059 (PD) and SB203580 (SB), inhibitor of ERK1/2 and p38 MAPK pathway, were administered to assess the involvement of MAPK pathway in the promotion process. In conclusion, MHA pronouncedly enhanced the osteogenesis of rMSC, plausibly via the BMP and MAPK signaling pathways.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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