Persimmon (Diospyros kaki
L.f.) leaves have traditionally been used as a phytomedicine, in health beverages to treat cardiovascular and respiratory disease and to promote maternal health in East Asia. In particular, polysaccharides from persimmon are known to have anti-coagulant, anti-oxidant, and immune-stimulatory activities. However, their beneficial effects against osteoporosis have not been reported. In the present study, we investigated the anti-osteoporotic effects of polysaccharides from persimmon leaves (PLE0) using an in vivo model of ovariectomy (OVX)-induced bone loss and an in vitro system of receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL)-induced osteoclast differentiation. In the OVX mouse model, PLE0 remarkably improved OVX-induced trabecular bone loss by suppressing osteoclast activity. In primary bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMMs), PLE0 dose-dependently inhibited osteoclast differentiation. In addition, PLE0 down-regulated RANKL-induced activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) such as p38, ERK, and JNK resulting in suppression of nuclear factor of activated T cells cytoplasmic 1 (NFATc1) expression. Our results indicate that PLE0 has anti-osteoporotic effects in OVX-induced bone loss via inhibition of osteoclast differentiation. Taken together, PLE0 from persimmon may prevent postmenopausal bone loss and osteoporotic bone fragility.
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