Celastrol regulates bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell fate and bone-fat balance in osteoporosis and skeletal aging by inducing PGC-1α signaling

Aging (Albany NY). 2020 Jul 28;12(17):16887-16898. doi: 10.18632/aging.103590. Epub 2020 Jul 28.


Celastrol has recently been identified as a prospective new treatment for obesity and several metabolic complications. However, the effect of Celastrol in osteoporosis (OP) remains unknown. In this study, we demonstrated that Celastrol promotes osteoblast differentiation and prevents adipocyte differentiation in bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) in vitro. Mechanistically, Celastrol was able to control the differentiation of BM-MSCs by stimulating PGC-1α signaling. Moreover, administration of Celastrol could alleviate bone loss and bone marrow adipose tissue (MAT) accumulation in ovariectomized (OVX) mice and aged mice. Together, these results recommended that Celastrol could regulate BM-MSCs fate and bone-fat balance in OP and skeletal aging by stimulating PGC-1α, which might act as a possible therapeutic target for OP and for the prevention of skeletal aging.

Keywords: BM-MSCs; Celastrol; PGC-1α; osteoporosis.