Ginsenosides, which are the active materials of ginseng, have biological functions that include anti-osteoporotic effects. Aqueous ginseng extract inhibits osteoclast differentiation induced by receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL). Aqueous ginseng extract produces chromatography peaks characteristic of ginsenosides. Among these peaks, ginsenoside Re is a major component. However, the preventive effects of ginsenoside Re against osteoclast differentiation are not known. We studied the effect of ginsenoside Re on osteoclast differentiation, RANKL-induced tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) activity, and formation of multinucleated osteoclasts
In vertebrates, bone health is maintained by bone formation and resorption. Many bone disorders result from an imbalance between these two mechanisms (Goltzman, 2002). Osteoblasts originate from mesenchymal stem cells, whereas osteoclasts are formed from macrophages derived from hematopoietic stem cells. Osteoclasts are multinucleated cells formed by fusion of mononuclear macrophages (Boyle et al., 2003). Osteoblast cells affect osteoclast differentiation through macrophage colony-stimulating factor-1 (MCSF-1) and receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL). Both are sufficient and necessary for osteoclast differentiation (Kong et al., 1999; Tanaka et al., 1993; Takayanagi et al., 2002). MCSF-1 enhances osteoclast proliferation during RANKL-induced osteoclasts generation (Biskobing et al., 1995). The osteoclast-activating transcription factors c-Fos and NFATc1 are also expressed by RANKL, which leads to expression of osteoclast associated receptor (OSCAR), tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP), and other proteins (Teitelbaum and Ross, 2003).
Osteoporosis weakens bones, increasing risk of fracture. Osteoporosis is classified into two types, depending on the cause: estrogen-dependent osteoporosis occurs mainly in postmenopausal woman, and age-dependent osteoporosis occurs in people older than 70 years (Lim et al., 2009). The effects of herbal products and traditional foods on enhanced mineral accumulation in bones and maximization of bone mass in premenopausal and postmenopausal women have been studied. Traditional herbal medicines and natural materials have been investigated as possible cures for osteoporosis because of their inhibition of osteoclast differentiation with few side effects (Putnam et al., 2007). The effects of individual components of ginseng extract on osteoporosis have been examined. Ginsenosides Rb1, Rb2, and Rg3 affect osteoclasts that influence bone homeostasis (Cheng et al., 2012; Huang et al., 2014; Siddiqi et al., 2015).
Here, we used a zebrafish scale system to evaluate if ginseng and its bioactive components contributed to bone homeostasis. A major ginsenoside of aqueous ginseng extract, ginsenoside Re, exhibited novel effects in inhibiting osteoclast differentiation.
Culture media, fetal bovine serum, and antibiotics were from Invitrogen (USA), while standard ginsenosides (including Re), anti-
Aqueous ginseng extract was from the
Bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMMs) were obtained from femurs and tibias of 6-week-old ICR mice as described previously (He et al., 2012). To generate osteoclasts, BMMs (5 × 104 cells/well) were incubated with MCSF (30 ng/ml) and RANKL (25 ng/ml) in 48-well (1 ml/well) tissue culture dishes with or without ginsenoside Re or ginseng extract. Cells were fixed with 10% formalin for 10 min and washed 4 times with PBS plus 0.1% Triton X-100 (PBST). Cells were incubated for a few hours in TRAP staining solution (Sigma-Aldrich).
Cells were lysed in lysis buffer [PBS plus 0.5% NP-40, 0.5 mM Na3VO4, 20 mM
All experimental procedures complied with the act on life ethics and safety of the Ministry of Health and Welfare of South Korea. Wild-type adult zebrafish were maintained at 27.0°C ± 1.0°C under light conditions of 14 h light and 10 h dark. Before starting the experiments, the weight of zebrafish more than 350 mg (similar in length) were maintained for 14 days in the same cage. To induce bone loss from fish scales, we reduced the feeding amount of food by 20%. Ten zebrafish per each group were separated individually in standard cages. For 7 days, the fish were raised without feeding in the presence or absence of ginsenoside Re and other 28 days, the fish were fed 2 ml (20%) of artemia one time a day in water, after 1hr the water was replaced to half volume of fresh water with or without of ginsenoside Re every day to maintain optimal water condition. 35 days later, the fish were anaesthetized with 0.01% tricaine methanesulfonate (Sigma) before scale collection; the scales were carefully removed from either side of the body under a stereomicroscope (KL300, Leica, Germany) using forceps.
Cell cytotoxicity assays were performed as described previously (He et al., 2012). Cells were cultured with or without aqueous ginseng extract (0–100 μg/ml) or ginsenoside Re (0–10 μM) for 48 h. After 1 h of Cell Counting Kit – 8 (CCK-8) treatment (10 μl), plates were analyzed at 450 nm (650 nm reference) using a 96-well plate recorder (Molecular Devices, USA).
Multinucleated osteoclasts were treated with 10% formalin for 10 min and ethanol/acetone (50%/50%) for 1 min for fixation and then stained with TRAP staining solution (Sigma-Aldrich). TRAP-positive multinucleated cells were photographed under a microscope (Olympus Optical Co. Ltd., Japan). To measure TRAP activity, cells were fixed with 10% formalin for 10 min and 95% ethanol for 1 min and then incubated with 100 μl reaction buffer (50 mM citric acid, pH 4.6, 10 mM sodium tartrate, 5 mM PNPP). After 1 h, 30 μl was transferred to a new plate containing an equal volume of stopping buffer (0.1 N NaOH). Absorbance was measured at 410 nm. TRAP activity was presented as a percentage of the control.
RNA preparation and cDNA synthesis were performed as described previously (He et al., 2012). Real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) used a CFX96™ Real-time system with SYBR FAST KAPA iCycler qPCR kit under the following conditions: 40 cycles of denaturation at 95°C (15 s) and amplification at 60°C (1 min). All reactions were run in triplicate, and the data were normalized to that of β-actin. Relative differences in PCR results were evaluated using the comparative cycle threshold method. Primer sets were: mouse NFATc1, 5′-CCGTTGCTTCCAGAAAATAACA-3′ (forward), 5′-TGTGGGATGTGAACTCGGAA-3′ (reverse); mouse β-actin, 5′-TCTGCTGGAAGGTGGACAGT-3′ (forward), 5′-CCTCTATGCCAACACAGTC-3′ (reverse); mouse TRAP 5′-CTGGAGTGCACGATG-CCAGCGACA-3′ (forward), 5′-TCCGTGCTCGGCGATGGACCAGA-3′ (reverse); zebrafish cathepsin K, 5′-CTATTAAAGAGATTCCTCAGGGTAAGCA-3′ (forward), 5′-ACACGGGTCCCACATTGG-3′ (reverse); zebrafish TRAP, 5′-CGTCCACTGACCACAGGAAGA-3′ (forward), 5′-AAGGA-TCCTGACGTCTGATTGA-3′ (reverse); zebrafish matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9, 5′-AAATCTGTGTTCGTGACGTT-TCCT-3′ (forward), 5′-GCCGTAACGCTT-CAGATACTCAT-3′ (reverse); zebrafish MMP2, 5′-TTGCTTCCCTGCAAACTTTTG-3′ (forward), 5′-GAGCCACTTCTTTGTCTGTGTGA-3′ (reverse); zebrafish alkaline phosphatase, 5′-CAGTGGGAATCGTCACAACAA-3′ (forward), 5′-CCACACAGTGGGCATAAGCA-3′ (reverse); zebrafish osterix, 5′-AAGAAACCTGTCCACAGCTG-3′ (forward), 5′-GAGGCTTTACCGTACACCTT-3′ (reverse); and zebrafish β-actin, 5′-CAACAGGGAAAAGATG-ACACAGAT-3′ (forward), 5′-CAGCCTGGATGGCAACGT-3′ (reverse).
To measure zebrafish vertebrae density, fish were fixed in a stretched position on a sample holder and scanned with a microcomputed tomography (μ-CT) system (Siemens, USA). Experiments were performed on an animal Inveon system in the Ochang Center at the Korea Basic Science Institute. The μ-CT scanner was set to 80 kVp for the X-ray tube, 500 μA for the X-ray source, and 800-ms exposure time. The detector and Xray source were rotated 360° in 360 steps. The number of calibration exposures was 30. The system magnification was set to 102.55 mm axial field view and 30.74 mm transaxial field view. Data were analyzed using Inveon Research Workplace software (Siemens).
To measure the calcium and phosphorus concentration in bones (vertebrae) and scales, we prepared the scales and vertebrae from each group, the scales were collected by forceps from each side of fish. The remaining body was taken off head and then treated 0.1% trypsin for 10 min at 37 to collect the vertebrae. The scales and vertebrae were washed 2 times with distilled water. Both samples were measured the weight after incubating in dry oven for overnight, and then the samples were measured by atomic absorption spectrometry. Calcium/phosphorus (Ca:P) ratios in samples were measured by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (VG PlasmaQuad, Fisons Instruments, UK). All values were adjusted for minor deviations from standard calcium solutions with accepted natural ratios (the ratio of Ca:P is about 2:1). All samples were measured in duplicate (van den Heuvel et al., 2000).
Values are presented as mean ± standard deviation (SD) of three or more experiments. Data were analyzed using Student’s
To test the effect of aqueous ginseng extract on osteoclast differentiation, cells were isolated from mice and incubated with the osteoclast-generating factors MCSF-1 and RANKL, with or without aqueous ginseng extract. After TRAP staining, TRAP-positive multinucleated cells were counted. Aqueous ginseng extracts dose-dependently diminished osteoclast differentiation (Figs. 1A and 1B) without toxicity up to 100 μg/ml (Fig. 1B). The same procedure was used to assay 14 types of ginsenosides at various concentrations. At 2.5 μM, ginsenosides Rd, Re, and compound K; and Fraction 11 inhibited osteoclast differentiation by ~60% (Fig. 1C). The ginsenoside Rd showed toxicity (Fig. 1D). Among individual ginsenosides, ginsenoside Re exhibited the most potent inhibition of osteoclast differentiation.
We investigated the effects of 30 days of limited feeding on our zebrafish model. Zebrafish vertebrae were examined
Ginsenoside Re is a major compound in aqueous ginseng extract (Lee et al., 2015). To elucidate the effects of ginsenoside Re, it was applied to BMMs with RANKL (25 ng/ml) and MCSF (30 ng/ml) at indicated concentrations and times. Based on TRAP activity assays and positive-osteoclasts cell counting, ginsenoside Re dose-dependently inhibited osteoclast differentiation (Figs. 3A–3C). Additionally, mRNA levels of the osteoclast differentiation marker genes NFATc1 and TRAP decreased up to 50% in 2.5 days (Figs. 3D and 3E). These results were from tests using 5 μM ginsenoside Re, which did not affect cell viability (Fig. 3f).
To explore the mechanisms by which ginsenoside Re inhibits osteoclast differentiation, we tested whether ginsenoside Re reduced protein levels of the transcription factors NFATc1 and c-Fos in BMMs stimulated with RANKL. The levels of the protein degradation control protein CYLD did not change with ginsenoside Re treatment (Fig. 4A). RANKL-induced differentiation of osteoclasts involves amplification of cell signaling mediated through mitogen-activated protein kinases and activation of downstream transcription factors such as NF-κB and NFATc1 (Wei et al., 2002).
Next, we investigated the effects of ginsenoside Re on intracellular signaling pathways in RANKL-induced BMMs. RANKL treatment of BMMs for 5 min dramatically increased phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated
We investigated the effects of ginsenoside Re as a major component of aqueous ginseng extract (Fig. 2). Based on toxicity tests using 3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assays (Fig. 3F), we selected a concentration of 5 μM as the optimal concentration for the zebrafish scale model. To confirm that 5 μM ginsenoside Re was appropriate for treatment in our model, we treated fish embryos for 3 days with 0 to 10 μM ginsenoside Re. In toxicity tests with zebrafish embryos, the highest concentration (10 μM) showed little toxicity such as embryonic death or abnormal morphology (data not shown). We used TRAP assays to evaluate the efficiency of inhibition of osteoclast differentiation on fish scale samples from controls and fish treated with ginsenoside Re for 35 days. Control scales showed TRAP staining that was widely distributed in the central and lateral areas, but ginsenoside Re-treated scales showed a more narrow distribution of TRAP staining (Fig. 5A). TRAP intensity for ginsenoside Re-treated samples was only 0.37-fold compared to the controls (Fig. 5B). This result indicates that ginsenoside Re suppressed osteoclast generation by zebrafish scales. These observations were confirmed by the decreased expression of the osteoclast marker genes
Bone health depends on the balance between osteoblasts and osteoclasts. In this study, we found that aqueous ginseng extract negatively regulated osteoclastogenic activity, with both
Aqueous ginseng extract inhibited osteoclast differentiation without toxicity toward BMMs. Ginsenosides are reported to possess effects such as anti-oxidant, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, anti-adipocyte, anti-osteoporotic, and sexual enhancement activities (Shin et al., 2006). Our group previously reported that red ginseng combined with other herbal medicines regulates osteoporosis in ovariectomized rats (Kim et al., 2008).
In this study, we report the efficacy of a single ginseng treatment for preventing bone resorption through suppression of osteoclast differentiation. Among the various ginsenosides, major ginsenoside in aqueous ginseng extract, ginsenoside Re treatment blocked osteoclast differentiation and RANKL-induced NFATc1 expression level as osteoclastogenesis key transcription factor without any cytotoxicity in mouse BMMs (Fig. 3). In addition, we observed that ginsenoside Re influenced osteoclast differentiation via inhibition of RANKL-induced signaling pathway. In particular, ginsenoside Re blocked signaling of ERK and, which is known mechanism of osteoclast differentiation (Fig. 4). And we applied effect of ginsenoside Re to
Osteoclast differentiation was inhibited by ginsenoside Re and osteoclast marker genes were significantly decreased in samples treated with ginsenoside Re in zebrafish scales. Ginsenoside Re treatment decreased mRNA expression level of