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      Aconine inhibits RANKL-induced osteoclast differentiation in RAW264.7 cells by suppressing NF-κB and NFATc1 activation and DC-STAMP expression


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          Aconiti Lateralis Radix Preparata is a traditional Chinese medicine used to treat chronic arthritis and is highly effective against rheumatoid arthritis. However, the effects of aconine, a derivative of aconitum alkaloids, on osteoclasts, which can absorb bone, remain unknown. Here, we investigated the effects of aconine on osteoclast differentiation and bone resorption in vitro.


          The viability of mouse leukemic monocyte/macrophage cell line RAW264.7 was measured using CCK-8 assays. Osteoclast differentiation was induced by incubation of RAW264.7 cells in the presence of RANKL, and assessed with TRAP staining assay. Bone resorption was examined with bone resorption pits assay. The expression of relevant genes and proteins was analyzed using RT-PCR and Western blots. The activation of NF-κB and nuclear factor of activated T-cells (NFAT) was examined using stable NF-κB and NFATc1 luciferase reporter gene systems, RT-PCR and Western blot analysis.


          Aconine (0.125, 0.25 μmol/L) did not affect the viability of RAW264.7 cells, but dose-dependently inhibited RANKL-induced osteoclast formation and bone resorptive activity. Furthermore, aconine dose-dependently inhibited the RANKL-induced activation of NF-κB and NFATc1 in RAW264.7 cells, and subsequently reduced the expression of osteoclast-specific genes (c-Src, β3-Integrin, cathepsin K and MMP-9) and the expression of dendritic cell-specific transmembrane protein (DC-STAMP), which played an important role in cell-cell fusion.


          These findings suggest that aconine inhibits RANKL-induced osteoclast differentiation in RAW264.7 cells by suppressing the activation of NF-κB and NFATc1 and the expression of the cell-cell fusion molecule DC-STAMP.

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          Ca2+-NFATc1 signaling is an essential axis of osteoclast differentiation.

          Osteoclasts are unique, multinucleated giant cells that decalcify and degrade the bone matrix. They originate from hematopoietic cells and their differentiation is dependent on a tumor necrosis factor (TNF) family cytokine, receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) ligand (RANKL), as well as macrophage-colony stimulating factor (M-CSF). Recent studies have unveiled the precise molecular mechanism underlying osteoclastogenesis. In particular, the discovery of nuclear factor of activated T cells c1 (NFATc1), the master regulator of osteoclastogenesis, has proven to be a breakthrough in this field. NFATc1 is activated by Ca2+ signaling induced by the activation of the immunoglobulin-like receptor signaling associated with immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif (ITAM)-harboring adapters. The long-lasting Ca2+ oscillation, which is evident during osteoclastogenesis, may ensure the robust induction of NFATc1 through an autoamplification mechanism. Thus, intracellular Ca2+ is a critical attribute of osteoclastogenic signaling. In addition, osteoclasts are exposed to a very high extracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]o) in the bone microenvironment and respond to the change in [Ca2+]o by increasing the intracellular Ca2+, which regulates diverse cellular functions. Investigation of the molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of intracellular Ca2+ dynamics may open up new directions for therapeutic strategies in bone disease.
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            Cathepsin K: its skeletal actions and role as a therapeutic target in osteoporosis.

            Bone remodeling consists of two phases--bone resorption and bone formation--that are normally balanced. When bone resorption exceeds bone formation, pathologic processes, such as osteoporosis, can result. Cathepsin K is a member of the papain family of cysteine proteases that is highly expressed by activated osteoclasts. Cathepsin K readily degrades type I collagen, the major component of the organic bone matrix. With such a major role in the initial process of bone resorption, cathepsin K has become a therapeutic target in osteoporosis. The antiresorptive properties of cathepsin K inhibitors have been studied in phase I and phase II clinical trials. Phase III studies are currently underway for odanacatib, a selective cathepsin K inhibitor.
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              Regulatory mechanism of NFATc1 in RANKL-induced osteoclast activation.

              NFATc1 is a master regulator of RANKL-induced osteoclast differentiation and herein we investigate the regulatory mechanism of NFATc1 in osteoclast activation. Inactivation of NFATc1 strongly attenuates RANKL-induced bone resorption and overexpression of a constitutively active form of NFATc1 in osteoclasts induces formation of actin rings and resorption pits on dentin slices. We demonstrate that NFATc1 binds directly to the promoter regions of its target genes and induces expression of various genes, including LTBP3, ClC7, cathepsin K, MMP9, and c-Src, which are key players in bone resorption. Thus, NFATc1 is essential for RANKL-induced osteoclast activation via up-regulation of osteoclast-activating genes.

                Author and article information

                Acta Pharmacol Sin
                Acta Pharmacol. Sin
                Acta Pharmacologica Sinica
                Nature Publishing Group
                February 2016
                23 November 2015
                : 37
                : 2
                : 255-263
                [1 ]School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Southern Medical University , Guangzhou 510515, China
                [2 ]College of Pharmacy, Hainan Medical University , Haikou 571199, China
                [3 ]Department of Surgery, Guangdong Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine , Guangzhou 510120, China
                Author notes
                Copyright © 2016 CPS and SIMM
                : 15 May 2015
                : 27 August 2015
                Original Article

                Pharmacology & Pharmaceutical medicine
                aconine,osteoclast,raw264.7,bone resorption,nf-κb,nfatc1,dc-stamp,osteoporosis,rheumatoid arthritis


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