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2023, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (2): 246-251

Effects of asiatic acid on biomechanical properties, trabecular area and Runx2 protein in osteoporotic rats

Chen Xiaosi1, Tan Xiaoyan2, Liu Tianfeng2, Han Dengpeng2, Wei Bo2, Hu Zibing2, Wu Shaoke2   

  1. 1International and Special Medical Service Ward, 2Department of Orthopedics, Affiliated Hospital of Guangdong Medical University, Zhanjiang 524023, Guangdong Province, China

  • Received:2021-01-13 Accepted:2021-12-17 Online:2023-01-18 Published:2022-06-18

  • Contact: Wu Shaoke, Master, Chief physician, Department of Orthopedics, Affiliated Hospital of Guangdong Medical University, Zhanjiang 524023, Guangdong Province, China

  • About author:Chen Xiaosi, Master, International and Special Medical Service Ward, Affiliated Hospital of Guangdong Medical University, Zhanjiang 524023, Guangdong Province, China

  • Supported by:

    Guangdong Provincial Natural Science Foundation-Yuedong Northwest Innovative Talents, No. 2018A030307019 (to WSK)


Abstract: BACKGROUND: Studies have confirmed that asiatic acid promotes osteoblast differentiation and inhibits osteoblast apoptosis in a concentration-dependent manner. However, the specific mechanism of asiatic acid on bone biomechanics and Runx2 protein is still unclear.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effects of asiatic acid on biomechanical characteristics, trabecular area and Runx2 protein expression in osteoporotic rats.
METHODS: Forty-eight Sprague-Dawley rats were selected and randomly divided into four groups (n=12 per group): sham operation group, model group, low-dose asiatic acid group, and high-dose asiatic acid group. Except for the sham operation group, rats in the other groups were bilaterally ovariectomized to establish osteoporosis models. The rats in the sham operation and model groups were given 3 mL/(kg·d) normal saline after surgery, while those in the low- and high-dose asiatic acid groups were given 60 and 120 mg/(kg·d) asiatic acid by gavage, respectively. Intervention in each group lasted for 60 days. RT-PCR and western blot were used to detect osteoprotegerin and Runx2 at mRNA and protein levels, respectively. Biomechanical characteristics, trabecular bone area and inflammatory factor levels of rats were compared among groups.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: (1) The maximum load, stiffness, total energy and elastic modulus of rats in the sham operation group were higher than those in the model group (P < 0.05). Compared with the model group, both high- and low-dose asiatic acid could increase the above-mentioned indexes (P < 0.05). Moreover, the maximum load, stiffness, total energy and elastic modulus were higher in the high-dose asiatic acid group than the low-dose asiatic acid group (P < 0.05). (2) The trabecular bone area was higher in the sham operation group than the model group (P < 0.05). The trabecular bone area was lower in the model group than the low- and high-dose asiatic acid group (P < 0.05). The trabecular bone area was higher in the high-dose asiatic acid group than the low-dose asiatic acid group (P < 0.05). (3) The serum level of transforming growth factor-β1 was significantly lower in the model group than the other three groups (P < 0.05) and significantly higher in the high-dose asiatic acid group than the low-dose asiatic acid group (P < 0.05). The levels of osteocalcin, alkaline phosphatase and tumor necrosis factor-αwere significantly higher in the model group than the other three groups (P < 0.05) and significantly lower in the high-dose asiatic acid group than the low-dose group (P < 0.05). (4) The mRNA expression levels of osteoprotegerin and Rnux2 were higher in the sham operation group than the model and low-dose asiatic acid groups (P < 0.05), and the mRNA expression levels of osteoprotegerin and Rnux2 in the high-dose asiatic acid group were higher than those in the sham operation group (P < 0.05). (5) The protein expression levels of osteoprotegerin and Rnux2 were lower in the model group than the other three groups and higher in the high-dose asiatic acid group than the low-dose asiatic acid group. To conclude, asiatic acid can improve the biological characteristics of bone tissue, increase the area of trabecular bone, and reduce the level of inflammation in osteoporotic rats. Its mechanism of action may be related to the promotion of Runx2 expression.
Key words: asiatic acid, osteoporotic rat, biomechanical characteristics, trabecular area, Runx2


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