Objective: To observe the effects of berberine on osteoclastic differentiation and bone resorption action in vitro, and to investigate the cellular mechanism of its inhibitory effects on bone resorption.
Methods: The multinucleated osteoclasts (MNCs) were derived by 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 and dexamethasone from bone marrow cells in the coculture system with primary osteoblastic cells. The tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) staining and image analysis of bone resorption pit on dental slices were used to identify osteoclast. The activity of TRAP was measured by p-nitrophenyl sodium phosphate assay. The bone resorption pit area on the bone slices formed by osteoclasts was measured by computer image processing.
Results: At the concentrations of 0.1, 1 and 10 micromol/L, berberine dose-dependently suppressed the formation of TRAP-positive multinucleated cells, the TRAP activity and the osteoclastic bone resorption. The strongest inhibitory effect was exhibited at the concentration of 10 micromol/L, with the inhibiting rate of 60.45%, 42.12% and 72.69% respectively.
Conclusion: Berberine can decrease bone loss through inhibition of osteoclast formation, differentiation and bone resorption.