Eurycoma longifolia, a promising suppressor of RANKL-induced differentiation and activation of osteoclasts: An in vitro mechanistic evaluation

J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2019 Apr-Jun;10(2):102-110. doi: 10.1016/j.jaim.2017.07.014. Epub 2018 Aug 16.


Background: Eurycoma longifolia (E. longifolia) has gained remarkable recognition due to its promising efficacy of stimulating bone formation in androgen-deficient osteoporosis. Numerous in vivo studies have explored the effects of E. longifolia on osteoporosis; however, the in vitro cellular mechanism was not discovered yet.

Objectives: The present study was aimed to investigate the effect of E. longifolia on the proliferation, differentiation and maturation of osteoclasts and the translational mechanism of inhibition of osteoclastogenesis using RAW 264.7 cells as an in vitro osteoclastic model.

Materials and methods: Having assessed cytotoxicity, the cell viability, cell proliferation rate and osteoclastic differentiation capacity of E. longifolia was investigated by evaluating the tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) activity in receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) ligand (RANKL)-induced osteoclasts. Taken together, the time-mannered expression of osteoclast-related protein biomarkers such as matrix metallopeptidase-9 (MMP-9), cathepsin-K, TRAP, nuclear factor of activated T-cells cytoplasmic 1 (NFATc1), superoxide (free radicals) generation and superoxide dismutase activity were also measured to comprehend the mechanism of osteoclastogenesis.

Results: E. longifolia did not show significant effects on cytotoxicity and cell proliferation of RAW 264.7 cells; however, a significant inhibition of cells differentiation and maturation of osteoclasts was observed. Moreover, a significant down-regulation of RANKL-induced TRAP activity and expression of MMP-9, cathepsin-K, TRAP, NFATc1 and generation of superoxide and enhanced superoxide dismutase activity was observed in E. longifolia treated cell cultures.

Conclusion: We anticipated that E. longifolia that enhances bone regeneration on the one hand and suppresses osteoclast's maturation on the other hand may have great therapeutic value in treating osteoporosis and other bone-erosive diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and metastasis associated with bone loss.

Keywords: Bone resorption; Eurycoma longifolia; Molecular mechanism; Osteoclastogenesis; Osteoclasts; Osteoporosis.