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Cell Tissue Res. 2013 Dec;354(3):743-50. doi: 10.1007/s00441-013-1707-6. Epub 2013 Sep 13.

Bioactive flavonoid p-hydroxycinnamic acid stimulates osteoblastogenesis and suppresses adipogenesis in bone marrow culture.

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Department of Hematology and Biomedical Oncology, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, 30322, USA,


The bioactive flavonoid p-hydroxycinnamic acid (HCA), which is an intermediate-metabolic substance in plants and fruits, is synthesized from tyrosine. The biological effect of HCA is poorly understood. Among cinnamic acid and its related compounds, HCA has a specific-anabolic effect on bone, being found to stimulate osteoblastogenesis and to inhibit osteoclastogenesis through the suppression of NF-κB signaling, thereby preventing bone loss. Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells give rise to ostoblasts and adipocytes. HCA might therefore have effects on osteoblastogenesis and adipogenesis in bone marrow culture. This study demonstrates (1) that HCA has stimulatory effects on osteoblastogenesis and mineralization and suppressive effects on adipogenesis in mouse bone marrow culture and (2) that HCA depresses adipogenesis in mouse 3T3-L1 preadipocytes in vitro. Such effects of HCA might be involved in the differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells.

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