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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 919374, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/919374
Research Article

Antiosteoclastic Activity of Milk Thistle Extract after Ovariectomy to Suppress Estrogen Deficiency-Induced Osteoporosis

1Department of Food and Nutrition, Hallym University, Chuncheon, Kangwon-do 200-702, Republic of Korea
2Seorim Bio, Chuncheon, Kangwon-do 200-944, Republic of Korea

Received 7 January 2013; Accepted 30 April 2013

Academic Editor: Gary S. Stein

Copyright © 2013 Jung-Lye Kim et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Bone integrity abnormality and imbalance between bone formation by osteoblasts and bone resorption by osteoclasts are known to result in metabolic bone diseases such as osteoporosis. Silymarin-rich milk thistle extract (MTE) and its component silibinin enhanced alkaline phosphatase activity of osteoblasts but reduced tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) activity of osteoclasts. The osteoprotective effects of MTE were comparable to those of estrogenic isoflavone. Low-dose combination of MTE and isoflavone had a pharmacological synergy that may be useful for osteogenic activity. This study attempted to reveal the suppressive effects of MTE on bone loss. C57BL/6 female mice were ovariectomized (OVX) as a model for postmenopausal osteopenia and orally administered 10 mg/kg MTE or silibinin for 8 weeks. The sham-operated mice served as estrogen controls. The treatment of ovariectomized mice with nontoxic MTE and silibinin improved femoral bone mineral density and serum receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand/osteoprotegerin ratio, an index of osteoclastogenic stimulus. In addition, the administration of MTE or silibinin inhibited femoral bone loss induced by ovariectomy and suppressed femoral TRAP activity and cathepsin K induction responsible for osteoclastogenesis and bone resorption. Collectively, oral dosage of MTE containing silibinin in the preclinical setting is effective in preventing estrogen deficiency-induced bone loss.