Osteoblastic bone formation and osteoclastic bone resorption are in balance to maintain a constant, homeostatically controlled amount of bone. Excessive bone resorption by osteoclasts is involved in the pathogenesis of bone-related disorders. In the present study, we evaluated the inhibitory effects of glabridin, a flavonoid purified from licorice root, on the receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL)- induced osteoclast differentiation and its molecular mechanisms in murine osteoclast progenitor RAW264.7 cells. Glabridin significantly inhibited RANKL-induced tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) activity, the formation of multinucleated osteoclasts and resorption-pit formation. In mechanistic studies of the anti-osteoclastogenic potential of glabridin, we found that glabridin inhibited RANKL-induced expression of c-Fos and subsequent expression of NFATc1, which is a master regulator of osteoclastogenesis. Interestingly, glabridin inhibited the RANKL-induced expression of signaling molecules (TRAF6, GAB2, ERK2, JNK1 and MKK7) and osteoclast survival-related signaling pathways such as c-Src, PI3K and Akt2. Glabridin also inhibited the bone resorptive activity of mature osteoclasts by inhibiting osteoclast-associated genes (cathepsin K, MMP-9, CAII, TCIRG1, OSTM1 and CLCN7). Taken together, our data suggest that glabridin holds great promise for use in preventing osteoclastogenesis by inhibiting RANKL-induced activation of signaling molecules and subsequent transcription factors in osteoclast precursors and these findings may be useful for evaluating treatment options in bone-destructive diseases.
- Bone resorption
- Receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand
- Signaling pathway
ASJC Scopus subject areas