2015 Volume 9 Issue 3 Pages 169-181
Bu-Shen-Ning-Xin decoction (BSNXD), a traditional Chinese medicine, has been used to prevent and treat age-related diseases such as postmenopausal osteoporosis (PMO) for decades. This study sought to investigate the underlying mechanisms of BSNXD in terms of receptor activation of nuclear factor κB ligand (RANKL)-induced osteoclastogenesis in vitro because of the critical roles of bone resorption in the development and progression of osteoporosis. In mice, serum levels of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS), and 17-β-estradiol (E2) were evaluated with an enzyme immunoassay kit after ovariectomy. Levels of DHEA and DHEAS increased significantly following administration of BSNXD while the level of E2 did not. In addition, tartrate-resistance acid phosphatase staining showed that DHEA profoundly inhibited RANKL-induced osteoclastogenesis in vitro in a dose-dependent manner via estrogen receptor α (ERα) but not via estrogen receptor β or androgen receptors. Cytotoxicity was not detected in the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. These data suggest that BSNXD prevents PMO by increasing DHEA via the ERαpathway to suppress osteoclastogenesis.