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J Ethnopharmacol. 2012 Jun 26;142(1):168-74. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2012.04.033. Epub 2012 Apr 21.

Sanguis Draconis resin stimulates osteoblast alkaline phosphatase activity and mineralization in MC3T3-E1 cells.

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Department of Orthopedics Surgery, the Second Affiliated Hospital, College of Medicine, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, Shaanxi 710004, PR China.



Sanguis Draconis (SD), "Dragon's Blood", is a resin that is obtained from Daemonorops draco (Palmae). Used in traditional medicine, it has shown activity in the prevention of osteoporosis as well as promoting the healing of bone fractures.


In this study, the effects of Sanguis Dranonis ethanol extract on β-glycerolphosphate and ascorbic acid induced differentiation using mouse calvaria origin MC3T3-E1 osteoblastic cells was examined. We looked at osteoblast differentiation, proliferation, and mineralization by measuring alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and specific bone marker activities. Osteoblast-like MC3T3-E1 cells were cultured in various concentrations of SD ethanol extract (0.005-1mg/mL) during the osteoblast differentiation period (1, 5, 15, and 25 days).


As measured by 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-y]-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay, SD extracts increased cell proliferation as compared to control. The most pronounced effect was observed at the concentration range between 0.01 and 0.1 mg/mL (P<0.01). This SD stimulatory effect for cell proliferation was observed during the whole osteogenic period. Cellular (synthesized) ALP activity was increased during 15 days of culture, and was confirmed by the staining of ALP activity on cell matrix layers for matrix calcification. SD stimulatory effect for cell mineralization we observed in 14 and 21 days. Elevated mRNA or protein levels of bone morphogenetic protein-2(BMP 2), the differentiation marker osteocalcin, osteopontin, collgen I, and a master osteogenic transcription factor, Runx2, were observed in SD-treated cells.


These results suggest that SD may increase osteogenic effect by stimulating cell ALP activity and affect the BMP signaling pathway cascades in osteoblastic cells, then promotes osteoblast differentiation, mineralization, and bone formation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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