An extract from Myracrodruon urundeuva inhibits matrix mineralization in human osteoblasts

J Ethnopharmacol. 2019 Jun 12;237:192-201. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2019.03.052. Epub 2019 Mar 21.


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Phytotherapy based on plant-derived compounds is an alternative medicinal strategy for the relief of symptoms and the curing of diseases. The leaves of Myracrodruon urundeuva a medicinal plant also known as "aroeira", has been used in traditional medicine as healing, antiulcer and anti-inflammatory to treat skeletal diseases in Brazil, but its role in bone cell toxicity, as well as in bone formation, remains to be established.

Aim of the study: We sought to determine the in vitro osteogenic effects of a hydroalcoholic M. urundeuva leaves extract in primary human osteoblasts.

Materials and methods: Cell viability, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and matrix mineralization were evaluated by MTT assay, DCFH-DA probe, colorimetric-based enzymatic assay and Alizarin Red-staining, respectively. Besides, the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and progressive ankylosis protein homolog (ANKH) gene expression were determined by real-time RT-qPCR and MMP-2 activity by zymography.

Results: Exposure of osteoblasts to M. urundeuva extract significantly decreased viability and increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, regardless of the extract concentration. The M. urundeuva extract at 10 μg/mL also downregulated matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2, while upregulating progressive ankylosis protein homolog (ANKH) gene expression. By contrast, the MMP-2 activity was unchanged. The M. urundeuva extract at 10 μg/mL also reduced alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and mineralization.

Conclusions: Overall, our findings suggest that the inhibition of osteogenic differentiation and matrix mineralization promoted by M. urundeuva may be due more to an increase in oxidative stress than to the modulation of MMP-2 and ANKH expression.

Keywords: Ankylosis protein homolog; Cell viability; Matrix metalloproteinase 2; Mineralization; Myracrodruon urundeuva; Osteoblast.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alkaline Phosphatase / metabolism
  • Anacardiaceae*
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Humans
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2 / genetics
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2 / metabolism
  • Osteoblasts / drug effects*
  • Osteoblasts / metabolism
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Leaves
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism


  • Plant Extracts
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Alkaline Phosphatase
  • MMP2 protein, human
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2