Ethnopharmacological relevance Velvet antlers (VA) have been claimed for centuries to have numerous medical benefits including strengthen bones. To investigate and compare the anti-osteoporotic activities from different sections of VA. Materials and methods Fresh VA prepared from farmed sika deers (Cervus nippon) was divided into upper (VAU), middle (VAM), and basal (VAB) sections. The chemical constituents and anti-osteoporotic effect of different sections from VA were evaluated using ovariectomized rats. Results Levels of water-soluble extracts, diluted alcoholic extract, amino acids, testosterone, insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1and testosterone plus estradiol significantly differed among the different sections. Levels of these constituents were significantly higher in the upper section than in the basal section. Moreover, levels of testosterone and IGF-1 of the VAM were also significantly higher than those of the VAB. Calcium level increased downward from the tip with statistical significance. The strength of vertebrae increased in all VA-treated groups compared to the control, but only treatment with VAU and VAM increased the strength of the femur and the microarchitecure of the trabecular bone. Alkaline phosphatase levels of VAU-and VAM-treated groups significantly decreased, but osteocalcin did not significantly change. Moreover, VAU and VAM dose-dependently increased proliferation and mineralization of MC3T3-E1 cells. Conclusion Our study provides strong evidence for the regional differences in the effectiveness of velvet antler in treating osteoporosis. However, further studies are needed to elucidate the bioactive chemical constituents associated with the anti-osteoporotic effects of velvet antler.
ASJC Scopus subject areas