Effects of Tinospora cordifolia (Menispermaceae) on the proliferation, osteogenic differentiation and mineralization of osteoblast model systems in vitro

J Ethnopharmacol. 2012 May 7;141(1):474-80. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2012.03.015. Epub 2012 Mar 20.


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Ancient Indian ayurvedic literature prescribes Tinospora cordifolia as a remedy to rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory and allied diseases of musculo skeletal system.

Aim: To investigate the effects of the alcoholic extract of Tinospora cordifolia (TC) on the proliferation, differentiation and mineralization of bone like matrix on osteoblast model systems in vitro and hence its possible use as a potential anti-osteoporotic agent.

Materials and methods: Two in vitro osteoblast model systems were used in the study viz., human osteoblast-like cells MG-63 and primary osteoblast cells isolated from femur of rats. Cell growth and viability was assessed by standard colorimetric assays like MTT assay. The cell differentiation into osteoblastic lineage was evaluated by the activities of bone marker alkaline phosphatase. The effect of the extract on matrix mineralization was assessed by alizarin red-s staining and Von kossa staining. Cell morphology was studied by phase contrast microscopy and light microscopy (Giemsa/crystal violet staining).

Results: Results indicate that the alcoholic extract of TC at a dosage of 25μg/ml stimulated the growth of osteoblasts, increased the differentiation of cells into osteoblastic lineage and increased the mineralization of bone like matrix on both the osteoblast model systems used in the study. Cell morphology studies clearly indicated the increase in cell numbers and absence of adverse change in the cell morphology on treatment with the extract.

Conclusion: TC extract has a potential influence on osteogenesis and hence its use could be explored as a potential anti-osteoporotic agent.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alcohols / chemistry
  • Alkaline Phosphatase / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents / isolation & purification
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents / pharmacology*
  • Calcification, Physiologic / drug effects*
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects*
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects*
  • Cell Shape / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Humans
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase / metabolism
  • Microscopy, Phase-Contrast
  • Osteoblasts / drug effects*
  • Osteoblasts / metabolism
  • Osteoblasts / pathology
  • Osteogenesis / drug effects*
  • Osteoporosis / drug therapy
  • Osteoporosis / pathology
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Components, Aerial
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plants, Medicinal
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Solvents / chemistry
  • Tinospora* / chemistry


  • Alcohols
  • Biomarkers
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Solvents
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase
  • Alkaline Phosphatase