Cordycepin was previously reported to have anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant activity. However, the potential role of cordycepin in bone metabolism and cell biology of osteoclasts remains unclear. In our study, we focused on the in vitro
effects of cordycepin on osteoclastogenesis and its in vivo
effects in ovariectomized (OVX) mice. Osteoclast differentiation, formation and fusion were evaluated by Tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) stain, focal adhesion stain and fusion assay, respectively. Osteoclastic bone resorption was evaluated by pit formation assay. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and removal were detected by the ROS assay. OVX mice were orally administered with 10 mg/kg of cordycepin daily for four weeks. In vitro
results revealed that cordycepin inhibited receptor activator of nuclear factor κB ligand (RANKL)-induced osteoclast differentiation, formation, fusion and bone resorption activity. We further proved that cordycepin treatments scavenged the generation of ROS, upregulated interferon regulatory factor 8 (IRF-8) and suppressed the activity of nuclear factor of activated T cells c1 (NFATc1) during osteoclastogenesis. In vivo
results indicated cordycepin prevents bone loss, rescues bone microarchitecture, and restores bone mineralization in OVX mice. Our observations strongly suggested that cordycepin is an efficient osteoclast inhibitor and hold potential therapeutic value in preventing bone loss among postmenopausal osteoporosis patients.
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