Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the skeletal effects of Butea total extract (BTE) and its acetone soluble fraction (ASF) from Butea monosperma, which is rich in methoxyisoflavones, in ovariectomized (OVx) rats, a model for postmenopausal bone loss.
Methods: BTE (1.0 g kg d) and ASF (100 mg kg d) were given orally for 12 weeks to adult OVx rats. The sham-operated and ovariectomy + vehicle groups served as controls. Bone mineral density, osteoid formation (mineral apposition rate and bone formation rate), bone microarchitecture, and bone turnover/resorption markers were studied. Phytoestrogens in rats given BTE and ASF were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography. One-way analysis of variance was used to test significance of effects.
Results: OVx rats treated with either BTE or ASF exhibited increased bone mineral density in trabecular bones and improved trabecular microarchitecture compared with the ovariectomy + vehicle group. ASF treatment was more efficient than BTE treatment in maintaining trabecular microarchitecture. Serum osteocalcin and urinary type 1 collagen levels in OVx rats treated with either BTE or ASF were significantly lower than those of the ovariectomy + vehicle group. ASF treatment led to increased mineral apposition rate and bone formation rate compared with ovariectomy + vehicle, whereas BTE had no such effect. In the uterotropic assay, BTE was mildly estrogenic in adult OVx rats. In immature rats, BTE exhibited both estrogenicity and antiestrogenicity. ASF had neither uterine estrogenicity nor antiestrogenicity. Analysis of phytoestrogens revealed significant enrichment of cladrin, isoformononetin, and medicarpin in ASF over BTE.
Conclusions: Derived from B monosperma, ASF at a 10-fold lower dose than that of BTE was effective in preventing OVx-induced bone loss and stimulated new-bone formation.