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Phytomedicine. 2009 Jun;16(6-7):521-9. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2009.01.003. Epub 2009 Apr 25.

Total flavonoids of Herba Epimedii improves osteogenesis and inhibits osteoclastogenesis of human mesenchymal stem cells.

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Department of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, PR China.



In China Herba Epimedii is one of the most common herbs that could be prescribed for treating osteoporosis. It is known to increase the overall mineral content, therefore, to promote bone formation and to increase lumbar bone mineral density (BMD). The present study was aimed at investigating the effect of flavonoids of Herba Epimedii (HEF) on osteogenesis in human MSCs.


The human bone marrow-derived MSCs (BM-MSCs) were isolated and their osteogenic differentiation was evaluated by their alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activities and level of mineralization. After treating with total flavonoids during osteogenic differentiation process, differential mRNA expression was examined by RT-PCR.


The total time needed for osteogenic differentiation of BM-MSCs was significantly shortened by adding HEF. Up-regulation of mRNA expression by HEF was observed for several marker genes and osteogenic regulators. HEF was also found to inhibit osteoclastogenesis of MSCs by enhancing the ratio OPG/RANKL.


Our study demonstrated that the HEF could improve osteogenic differentiation and inhibit the osteoclast differentiation of BM-MSCs concurrently.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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