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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 165679, 7 pages
Research Article

Protective Effects of Total Saponins of Panax Notoginseng on Steroid-Induced Avascular Necrosis of the Femoral Head In Vivo and In Vitro

Department of Orthopedics, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, China

Received 7 November 2014; Revised 12 January 2015; Accepted 13 January 2015

Academic Editor: Shuang-En Chuang

Copyright © 2015 Heng-feng Yuan 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.


This research was designed to investigate the protective effects of TSPN on steroid-induced avascular necrosis of the femoral head (ANFH) and the likely mechanisms of those effects. As an in vivo study, TSPN was shown to be protective against steroid-induced ANFH due to the upregulation of VEGF-A. Furthermore, TSPN attenuated the apoptosis of osteocytes and reduced the expression of Caspase-3 relative to the model group. As an in vitro study, TSPN exerted a concentration-dependent protective effect against apoptosis in MC3T3-E1 cells. Moreover, TSPN (at a dose of 100 μg/mL) significantly reversed the dexamethasone-induced augmentation of Caspase-3 expression and activity. Therefore, our study demonstrated that TSPN had a protective effect against steroid-induced ANFH that was related to the upregulation of VEGF-A and the inhibition of apoptosis and Caspase-3 activation.