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      Icariin promotes the migration of bone marrow stromal cells via the SDF-1α/HIF-1α/CXCR4 pathway

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          In this study, a series of in vitro experiments were performed to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying cell migration promoted by icariin (ICA) at low concentrations.

          Materials and methods

          Bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) were cultured with different concentrations of ICA to verify whether it can enhance the efficiency of BMSCs migration. Western blot was employed to measure the expression of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) and C-X-C chemokine receptor type 4 (CXCR4) at different time points in BMSCs treated with ICA. Subsequently, we evaluated the function of HIF-1α in the expression of CXCR4 and the migration of cells by transfecting plasmid HIF-1α small interfering RNA (siHIF-1α) into BMSCs model.


          Our data indicated that different concentrations of ICA (10, 1, and 0.1 µM) further enhanced the chemotactic capability of SDF-1α, and the most prominent cell migration stimulatory effect was observed with 1 µM ICA. Furthermore, ICA significantly enhanced the protein levels of CXCR4 and HIF-1α, and this effect was blocked by ICI 12,780 (estrogen receptor antagonis). Moreover, transfection of BMSCs with siHIF-1α reduced CXCR4 expression, suggesting that HIF-1α can regulate the migration of cells by influencing the expression of CXCR4.


          ICA promoted BMSCs migration via the activation of HIF-1α and further regulated the expression of CXCR4, suggesting that ICA might have beneficial effects in stem cell therapy.

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          Most cited references 18

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          Concise review: mesenchymal stem cells and translational medicine: emerging issues.

          Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are emerging as a promising therapeutic approach of cell-based therapy for a wide range of autoimmune disorders and degenerative diseases. In preclinical and clinical studies, MSCs have been shown to be highly efficient in treating graft-versus-host disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, myocardial infarction, liver cirrhosis, inflammatory bowel disease, and other disorders. The underlying therapeutic mechanisms of MSCs include their homing efficiency to the tissue injury sites, their differentiation potential, their capability to produce a large amount of trophic factors, and their immunomodulatory effect. Because tissue damage sites are complicated milieus with distinct types of inflammatory cells and factors, available data have demonstrated that the properties of MSCs could be fundamentally influenced by the inflammatory elements. Thus, an understanding of the interaction between MSCs and the inflammatory microenvironment will provide critical information in revealing the precise in vivo mechanisms of MSC-mediated therapeutic effects and designing more practical protocols for clinical use of these cells.
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            Homing and engraftment of progenitor cells: a prerequisite for cell therapy.

            Cell therapy is a promising therapeutic option for treating patients with ischemic diseases. The efficiency of cell therapy to augment recovery after ischemia depends on the sufficient recruitment of applied cells to the target tissue. Using in vivo imaging techniques the extent of homing was shown to be rather low in most experimental and clinical studies. The elucidation of the molecular mechanisms of homing of different progenitor cell subpopulation to sites of injury is essential for the development of new specific therapeutic strategies, in order to improve the efficacy of cell-based therapies. Homing to sites of active neovascularization is a complex process depending on a timely and spatially orchestrated interplay between chemokines (e.g. SDF-1), chemokine receptors, intracellular signaling, adhesion molecules (selectins and integrins) and proteases. The review will focus on the mechanisms underlying homing of adult bone marrow-derived hematopoietic cells, mesenchymal stem cells, and vasculogenic circulating cells and discuss strategies how to optimize cell engraftment.
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              Icariin protects against bone loss induced by oestrogen deficiency and activates oestrogen receptor-dependent osteoblastic functions in UMR 106 cells.

              Icariin may be the active ingredient in Herba Epimedii, a Chinese herb commonly used for treatment of osteoporosis. The present study aims to delineate the mechanism(s) by which icariin prevents bone loss after ovariectomy (OVX) in vivo and stimulates osteoblastic functions in vitro. Ovariectomized or sham-operated C57BL/6 mice were treated with vehicle, 17beta-oestradiol or icariin for 6 weeks. Total and trabecular bome mineral density (BMD) as well as polar stress-strain index of distal femur were measured by peripheral computed tomography. The mRNA expressions of OPG and RANKL in tibia were studied by RT-PCR. Interactions between the oestrogen receptor (ER) antagonist ICI182,780 and icariin were studied in UMR 106 cells. The functional transactivation of ERalpha and ERbeta as well as ERalpha phosphorylation by icariin were also assessed. Icariin suppressed the loss of bone mass and strength in distal femur and increased the mRNA expression ratio of OPG/RANKL in tibia, following OVX. Icariin increased ER-dependent cell proliferation, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, gene expression of OPG and the OPG/RANKL ratio in UMR 106 cells. Icariin did not activate ERE-luciferase activity in UMR 106 cells, via the ERalpha or the ERbeta-mediated pathway, but it did increase ERalpha phosphorylation at Ser118. Our results indicate that icariin exerts anabolic effects in bone possibly by activating ER in a ligand-independent manner. Its ability to prevent OVX-induced bone loss without inducing uterotrophic effects supports its use as an alternative regimen for management of postmenopausal osteoporosis.

                Author and article information

                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Dove Medical Press
                22 November 2018
                : 12
                : 4023-4031
                [1 ]Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Oral Tissue Regeneration, School of Stomatology, Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong Province, China, zhangj@ 123456sdu.edu.cn
                [2 ]Department of Orthodontics, School of Stomatology, Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong Province, China, zhangj@ 123456sdu.edu.cn
                [3 ]Department of Stomatology, Weihai Municipal Hospital, Weihai, Shandong Province, China
                [4 ]Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, School of Stomatology, Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong Province, China
                [5 ]Department of Stomatology, Affiliated Hospital of Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Jinan, Shandong Province, China
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Jun Zhang, Department of Orthodontics, School of Stomatology, Shandong University, 44 Wenhua West Road, Jinan 250012, China, Tel +86 139 5310 9816, Email zhangj@ 123456sdu.edu.cn
                © 2018 Zhu et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Original Research

                Pharmacology & Pharmaceutical medicine

                icariin, cell migration, sdf-1α, hif-1α, cxcr4


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