Aesculin modulates bone metabolism by suppressing receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL)-induced osteoclastogenesis and transduction signals

Xiao li Zhao, Lin feng Chen, Zhen Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Aesculin (AES), a coumarin compound derived from Aesculus hippocasanum L, is reported to exert protective role against inflammatory diseases, gastric disease and cancer. However, direct effect of AES in bone metabolism is deficient. In this study, we examined the effects of AES on osteoclast (OC) differentiation in receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL)-induced RAW264.7 cells. AES inhibits the OC differentiation in both dose- and time-dependent manner within non-toxic concentrations, as analyzed by Tartrate Resistant Acid Phosphatase (TRAP) staining. The actin ring formation manifesting OC function is also decreased by AES. Moreover, expressions of osteoclastogenesis related genes Trap, Atp6v0d2, Cathepsin K and Mmp-9 are decreased upon AES treatment. Mechanistically, AES attenuates the activation of MAPKs and NF-κB activity upon RANKL induction, thus leading to the reduction of Nfatc1 mRNA expression. Moreover, AES inhibits Rank expression, and RANK overexpression markedly decreases AES's effect on OC differentiation and NF-κB activity. Consistently, AES protects against bone mass loss in the ovariectomized and dexamethasone treated rat osteoporosis model. Taken together, our data demonstrate that AES can modulate bone metabolism by suppressing osteoclastogenesis and related transduction signals. AES therefore could be a promising agent for the treatment of osteoporosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-21
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 17 2017



  • Aesculin
  • Bone metabolism
  • Osteoclastogenesis
  • Osteoporosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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