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Keywords:

  • NOVEL ENTITIES;
  • OSTEOPOROSIS;
  • MENOPAUSE;
  • OSTEOBLASTS;
  • BONE HISTOMORPHOMETRY

Abstract

We recently reported that extracts made from the stem bark of Ulmus wallichiana promoted peak bone mass achievement in growing rats and preserved trabecular bone mass and cortical bone strength in ovariectomized (OVX) rats. Further, 6-C-β-D-glucopyranosyl-(2S,3S)-(+)-3',4',5,7-tetrahydroxyflavanol (GTDF), a novel flavonol-C-glucoside isolated from the extracts, had a nonestrogenic bone-sparing effect on OVX rats. Here we studied the effects of GTDF on osteoblast function and its mode of action and in vivo osteogenic effect. GTDF stimulated osteoblast proliferation, survival, and differentiation but had no effect on osteoclastic or adipocytic differentiation. In cultured osteoblasts, GTDF transactivated the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR). Activation of AhR mediated the stimulatory effect of GTDF on osteoblast proliferation and differentiation. Furthermore, GTDF stimulated cAMP production, which mediated osteogenic gene expression. GTDF treatments given to 1- to 2-day-old rats or adult rats increased the mRNA levels of AhR target genes in calvaria or bone marrow stromal cells. In growing female rats, GTDF promoted parameters of peak bone accrual in the appendicular skeleton, including increased longitudinal growth, bone mineral density, bone-formation rate (BFR), cortical deposition, and bone strength. GTDF promoted the process of providing newly generated bone to fill drill holes in the femurs of both estrogen-sufficient and -deficient rats. In osteopenic OVX rats, GTDF increased BFR and significantly restored trabecular bone compared with the ovaries-intact group. Together our data suggest that GTDF stimulates osteoblast growth and differentiation via the AhR and promotes modeling-directed bone accrual, accelerates bone healing after injury, and exerts anabolic effects on osteopenic rats likely by a direct stimulatory effect on osteoprogenitors. Based on these preclinical data, clinical evaluation of GTDF as a potential bone anabolic agent is warranted. © 2011 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research