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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 586741, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/586741
Research Article

Aconiti Lateralis Preparata Radix Activates the Proliferation of Mouse Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Induces Osteogenic Lineage Differentiation through the Bone Morphogenetic Protein-2/Smad-Dependent Runx2 Pathway

Department of Prescriptionology, College of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University, 26 Kyunghee Dae-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 130-701, Republic of Korea

Received 2 April 2013; Accepted 1 July 2013

Academic Editor: Chang Shik Yin

Copyright © 2013 Do Rim 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

Mesenchymal stem cells have the capacity for self-renewal and under appropriate stimulation give rise to osteogenic, adipogenic, and chondrogenic lineages. To advance the clinical use of stem cell therapy, such as stem cell transplantation, it is important to find substances that promote endogenous stem cell proliferation and differentiation. We investigated whether medicinal herbs have the potential to promote stem cell proliferation and differentiation, using a cell cycle analysis and differentiation assay. We found that Aconiti Lateralis Preparata Radix (ALR) promoted the proliferation rate of mouse bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (mBMMSCs) up to 122.24% compared to untreated cells. Fluorescence-activated cell sorter analysis showed that the percentage of cells in the G2/M phase increased to 17.33% in ALR-treated cells compared to 5.65% in normal cells. Signaling pathway analysis indicated that this was mediated through the extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 pathway. A differentiation assay showed that ALR induced differentiation of mBMMSCs into an osteogenic lineage 2 weeks after treatment, whereas traditional osteogenic induction medium treatment did not promote differentiation for 3 weeks. This osteogenic differentiation was signaled by the bone morphogenetic protein-2/Smad-dependent Runx2 pathway. We found that ALR could promote mBMMSC proliferation and differentiation into the osteogenic lineage.