Bone metabolism is a homeostatic process, imbalance in which leads to the onset of diseases such as osteoporosis and osteopenia. Although several drugs are currently available to treat such conditions, they are associated with severe side effects and do not enhance bone formation. Thus, identifying alternative treatment strategies that focus on enhancing bone formation is essential. Herein, we explored the osteogenic potential of Turpinia formosana Nakai using human osteoblast (HOb) cells. The plant extract was subjected to various chromatographic techniques to obtain six compounds, including one new compound: 3,3′-di-O-methylellagic acid-4-O-α-l-arabinofuranoside (1). Compounds 3,3′-di-O-methylellagic acid-4-O-α-l-arabinofuranoside (1), gentisic acid 5-O-β-d-(6′-O-galloyl) glucopyranoside (2), strictinin (3), and (-)-epicatechin-3-O-β-d-allopyranoside (6) displayed no significant cytotoxicity toward HOb cells, and thus their effects on various osteogenic markers were analyzed. Results showed that 1–3 and 6 significantly increased alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity up to 120.0, 121.3, 116.4, and 125.1%, respectively. Furthermore, 1, 2, and 6 also markedly enhanced the mineralization process with respective values of up to 136.4, 118.9, and 134.6%. In addition, the new compound, 1, significantly increased expression levels of estrogen receptor-α (133.4%) and osteogenesis-related genes of Runt-related transcription factor 2 (Runx2), osteopontin (OPN), bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-2, bone sialoprotein (BSP), type I collagen (Col-1), and brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) by at least 1.5-fold. Our results demonstrated that compounds isolated from T. formosana possess robust osteogenic potential, with the new compound, 1, also exhibiting the potential to enhance the bone formation process. We suggest that T. formosana and its isolated active compounds deserve further evaluation for development as anti-osteoporotic agents.
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