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J Trace Elem Med Biol. 1997 Jun;11(2):110-5.

Maltol complexes of vanadium (IV) and (V) regulate in vitro alkaline phosphatase activity and osteoblast-like cell growth.

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Cátedra de Bioquímica Patológica, Universidad Nacional de la Plata, Argentina.


Vanadium compounds have been found to possess insulin- and growth factor-mimetic effects. In consequence, these derivatives are potentially useful as effective oral therapeutic agents in diabetic patients. However, their use has been limited by various toxic side-effects and by the low solubility of different derivatives. Recently, vanadium complex with maltol, a sugar used as a common food additive, have been synthesised and investigated in animals, showing possible insulin-mimetic effects with low toxic side-effects. In the present study we have investigated the effect of bis(maltolato)oxovanadium (IV) (BMOV) and bis(maltolato)dioxovanadium (V) (BMV) on bone cells in culture as well as their direct effect on alkaline phosphatase in vitro. A comparison was also made with the action of vanadate and vanadyl cation. Vanadium compounds regulated cell proliferation in a biphasic manner with similar potencies. Osteoblast differentiation, assessed by alkaline phosphatase activity, was found to be dose-dependent, with the inhibitory effect being stronger for vanadate and BMOV than for vanadyl and BMV. All vanadium compounds directly inhibited bovine intestinal ALP with a similar potency. Thus, maltol vanadium derivatives behave in a similar way to vanadate and vanadyl in osteoblast-like UMR 106 cells in culture.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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