Isoliquiritigenin Decreases Bone Resorption and Osteoclast Differentiation

Kaitlyn M. Joyce, Carmen P. Wong, Ian A. Scriven, Dawn A. Olson, Daniel R. Doerge, Adam J. Branscum, Lara H. Sattgast, William G. Helferich, Russell T. Turner, Urszula T. Iwaniec

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Scope: A dose-ranging study is performed using young estrogen-depleted rats to determine whether dietary isoliquiritigenin (ILQ) alters bone metabolism and if the effects are associated with estrogen receptor signaling. Methods and Results: Six-week-old rats (ovariectomized at 4 weeks of age) are fed diets containing 0, 100, 250, or 750 ppm ILQ (n = 5/treatment) for 7 days. Gene expression in femur and uterus, blood markers of bone turnover, body composition, and uterine weight and epithelial cell height are determined. Because ILQ lowers bone resorption, the effect of ILQ on in vitro differentiation of osteoclasts from bone marrow of mice is assessed. Treatment resulted in a dose-dependent increases in serum ILQ but no changes in serum osteocalcin, a marker of global bone formation. Contrastingly, ILQ administration results in reduced serum CTX-1, a marker of global bone resorption, and reduces tartrate resistant acid phosphatase expression in osteoclast culture. ILQ treatment and endogenous estrogen production had limited overlap on gene expression in femur and uterus. However, uterine epithelial cell hyperplasia is observed in two of five animals treated with 750 ppm. Conclusions: In conclusion, dietary ILQ reduces bone resorption in vivo and osteoclast differentiation in vitro, by mechanisms likely differing from actions of ovarian hormones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2100974
JournalMolecular Nutrition and Food Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • histomorphometry
  • licorice
  • microcomputed tomography
  • rat bone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Biotechnology


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