Journal of Natural Medicines

, Volume 73, Issue 1, pp 104–113 | Cite as

Aloin promotes osteogenesis of bone-marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells via the ERK1/2-dependent Runx2 signaling pathway

  • Peng Li
  • Junchao Kong
  • Zhuming Chen
  • Shuai Huang
  • Guihe Lv
  • Bo Wei
  • Jinsong Wei
  • Kaipeng Jing
  • Juanhua QuanEmail author
  • Jiaqi ChuEmail author
Original Paper


Osteoporosis is characterized by low bone mass and the degeneration of bone structure, conditions which increase the risk of fracture. Aloin has been shown to affect bone metabolism, but its role in osteogenic differentiation of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) remains unclear. The aim of our study was to determine whether aloin promotes the proliferation and osteogenic differentiation of BMSCs and, if so, whether it acts via activation of the ERK1/2-Runx2 signaling pathway. We found that the different concentrations of aloin tested had no obvious cytotoxic effects on the viability of BMSCs. Under osteogenic induction conditions, aloin increased cellular alkaline phosphatase activity, promoted BMSC mineralization, and increased osteogenic-related gene expression. In addition, treating the BMSCs with the signal transduction inhibitor PD98059 (ERK1/2) effectively attenuated Runx2 activation in these cells and also suppressed osteoblastic differentiation. Overall, our study demonstrates that aloin promotes osteogenic differentiation of BMSCs through activation of the ERK1/2-Runx2 signaling pathway.


Aloin Osteoporosis Osteogenesis BMSCs ERK1/2-Runx2 signaling pathway 



This study was supported by the Special Funds of Public Interest Research and Capacity Building of Guangdong Province, China (2015A030302078), the PhD Start-up Fund of Affiliated Hospital of Guangdong Medical University (BJ201508, BJ201520) and the Zhanjiang Municipal Governmental Specific Financial Fund Allocated for Competitive Scientific & Technological Projects (2014A06005).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11418_2018_1249_MOESM1_ESM.eps (332 kb)
Supplementary Fig. 1 Chemical structure of Aloin (EPS 332 kb)
11418_2018_1249_MOESM2_ESM.eps (1.4 mb)
Supplementary Fig. 2 Cell proliferation was assessed by the MTS assay after treatment with various concentrations of aloin (0–50 μM) at different time-points. All data shown are representative of three independent experiments (EPS 1418 kb)
11418_2018_1249_MOESM3_ESM.docx (23 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (DOCX 22 kb)


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Pharmacognosy and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peng Li
    • 1
  • Junchao Kong
    • 2
    • 3
  • Zhuming Chen
    • 2
  • Shuai Huang
    • 4
  • Guihe Lv
    • 2
  • Bo Wei
    • 2
  • Jinsong Wei
    • 2
  • Kaipeng Jing
    • 1
  • Juanhua Quan
    • 4
    Email author
  • Jiaqi Chu
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Stem Cell Research and Cellular Therapy CenterAffiliated Hospital of Guangdong Medical UniversityZhanjiangChina
  2. 2.Department of Spinal SurgeryAffiliated Hospital of Guangdong Medical UniversityZhanjiangChina
  3. 3.Department of Spine Surgery, Institute of Surgery Research, Daping HospitalThird Military Medical UniversityChongqingChina
  4. 4.Department of GastroenterologyAffiliated Hospital of Guangdong Medical UniversityZhanjiangChina

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