Osteoporosis, an imbalance in the bone-forming process mediated by osteoblasts and the bone-resorbing function mediated by osteoclasts, is a bone degenerative disease prevalent among the aged population. Due to deleterious side effects of currently available medications, probiotics as a potential treatment of osteoporosis is an appealing approach. Hence, this study aims to evaluate the beneficial effects of two novel Lactobacilli strain probiotics on bone health in ovariectomized (OVX) induced osteoporotic mice model and its underlying mechanisms. Forty-five 9-week-old Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) mice underwent either a sham-operation (n = 9) or OVX (n = 36). Four days after the operation, OVX mice were further divided into four groups and received either saline alone, Lactobacillus plantarum GKM3, Lactobacillus paracasei GKS6 or alendronate per day for 28 days. After sacrifice by decapitation, right distal femur diaphysis was imaged via micro-computed tomography (MCT) and parameters including bone volume/tissue volume ratio (BV/TV), trabecular thickness (Tb.Th), trabecular number (Tb.N), trabecular separation (Tb.Sp), and bone mineral density (BMD) were measured. Moreover, GKM3 and GKS6 on RANKL-induced osteoclast formation and osteoblast differentiation using in vitro cultures were also investigated. The results showed that both probiotics strains inhibited osteoporosis in the OVX mice model, with L. paracasei GKS6 outperforming L. plantarum GKM3. Besides this, both GKS6 and GKM3 promoted osteoblast differentiation and inhibited RANKL-induced osteoclast differentiation via the Bone Morphogenetic Proteins (BMP) and RANKL pathways, respectively. These findings suggested that both strains of Lactobacilli may be pursued as potential candidates for the treatment and management of osteoporosis, particularly in postmenopausal osteoporosis.
Keywords: Lactobacillus paracasei GKS6; Lactobacillus plantarum GKM3; osteoblast; osteoclast; osteoporosis.