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Int J Mol Med. 2011 Dec;28(6):1049-53. doi: 10.3892/ijmm.2011.786. Epub 2011 Aug 31.

Honokiol stimulates osteoblastogenesis by suppressing NF-κB activation.

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Emory University School of Medicine, 1329 WMRB, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.


Magnolia officinalis, a component of Asian herbal teas, has long been employed in traditional Japanese and Chinese medicine to treat numerous maladies. Honokiol, a biphenolic compound, is now considered to be one of the major active ingredients of Magnolia extract, and is under intense investigation for its anti-angiogenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor and neuroprotective properties. Biochemically, honokiol has been recognized to modulate the nuclear factor κ B (NF-κB) signal transduction pathway suggesting that it possesses anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is intimately associated with bone turnover and skeletal deterioration and consequently, anti-inflammatory drugs may hold significant promise as bone protective agents to stem bone loss in osteoporotic conditions. We and others have demonstrated that suppression of NF-κB blunts osteoclastic bone resorption, but promotes osteoblastic bone formation. Indeed previous studies have demonstrated the anti-osteoclastogenic effects of honokiol, however, activities on osteoblast differentiation and activity have yet to be investigated. In this study, we show that honokiol is a potent inducer of in vitro osteoblast differentiation by virtue of its capacity to suppress basal and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα)-induced NF-κB activation and to alleviate the suppressive action of TNFα on bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-2-induced Smad activation. Our data confirm that honokiol may have considerable promise as a dual anabolic/anti-catabolic agent for the amelioration of multiple osteoporotic diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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