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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2009, 10(1), 292-305; doi:10.3390/ijms10010292

Determination of Mineral Content in Methanolic Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) Seed Extract and Its Effect on Osteoblast Markers

1
Department of Biology & Medicinal Science, Pai Chai University, Daejeon 302-735, Korea
2
Department of Biotechnology, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirapalli 620024, Tamilnadu, India
These authors contributed equally to this study
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 August 2008 / Revised: 30 December 2008 / Accepted: 4 January 2009 / Published: 12 January 2009
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Abstract

Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) seeds are used as a folk medicine to enhance bone formation or to prevent osteoporosis in Korea. Therefore, the methanolic extract of safflower seeds (MESS) containing high mineral content, such as calcium (Ca), potassium (K) and phosphorous (P), was evaluated for the role on osteoblast (Ob) markers of Sprague-Dawley rats. In serum of 3 to 11 weeks (wks) old rats, both osteocalcin (OC) content and bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (B-ALP) activity increased to their maximum levels in 4-7 wks. Hence, 3 wks old rats were selected for 8 wks oral treatment of MESS, resulted in the significant increase of Ob markers in serum such as OC content (4-8 wks), B-ALP activity (1-2 wks) and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) level (1 wk), and the growth parameter such as the length of femur (2-8 wks) and tibia (4 wks). On the basis of Pearson’s correlation coefficient, there were a moderate correlation between OC and B-ALP at 8 wks, a low correlation between OC and IGF-I at 1, 4 and 8 wks, a moderate correlation between OC and femur length at 1, 2 and 8 wks, and a moderate correlations between OC and tibia length at 1 and 8 wks of MESS-treated groups. The result reveals that the changes of OC correlated at low to moderate level with the changes of B-ALP activity, IGF-I content and femur and tibia length in the MESS-treatment period. On the other hand, there were a strong correlation between IGF-I and femur length at 2 wks and moderate correlation between IGF-I and tibia length at 1, 2 and 8 wks of MESS-treated groups. Therefore, the effect of MESS on bone formation likely appears to be mediated by IGF-I at the early stage of treatment.
Keywords: Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) seeds; methanolic extract; osteoblast activities; osteocalcin; bone-specific alkaline phosphates; IGF-I Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) seeds; methanolic extract; osteoblast activities; osteocalcin; bone-specific alkaline phosphates; IGF-I
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Lee, Y.S.; Choi, C.W.; Kim, J.J.; Ganapathi, A.; Udayakumar, R.; Kim, S.C. Determination of Mineral Content in Methanolic Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) Seed Extract and Its Effect on Osteoblast Markers. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2009, 10, 292-305.

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