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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 582437, 10 pages
Research Article

Type I Saikosaponins A and D Inhibit Osteoclastogenesis in Bone Marrow-Derived Macrophages and Osteolytic Activity of Metastatic Breast Cancer Cells

1Department of Applied Life Science, The Graduate School, Yonsei University, 50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 120-749, Republic of Korea
2Department of Oral Biology, Oral Cancer Research Institute and BK21 PLUS Project, Yonsei University College of Dentistry, 50-1 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 120-752, Republic of Korea
3Department of Dental Hygiene, Kyungpook National University, Sangju 742-711, Republic of Korea
4Department of Dentistry, The Graduate School, Yonsei University, 50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 120-749, Republic of Korea

Received 17 December 2014; Accepted 9 March 2015

Academic Editor: Sonia Piacente

Copyright © 2015 Ji-Eun Shin 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.


Many osteopenic disorders, including a postmenopausal osteoporosis and lytic bone metastasis in breast and prostate cancers, are linked with a hyperosteoclast activity due to increased receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand (RANKL) expression in osteoblastic/stromal cells. Therefore, inhibition of RANKL-induced osteoclastogenesis and osteoclast-induced bone resorption is an important approach in controlling pathophysiology of these skeletal diseases. We found that, of seven type I, II, and III saikosaponins isolated from Bupleurum falcatum, saikosaponins A and D, type I saikosaponins with an allyl oxide linkage between position 13 and 28 and two carbohydrate chains that are directly attached to the hydroxyl groups in position 3, exhibited the most potent inhibition on RANKL-induced osteoclast formation at noncytotoxic concentrations. The stereochemistry of the hydroxyl group at C16 did not affect their activity. Saikosaponins A and D inhibited the formation of resorptive pits by reducing the secreted levels of matrix metalloproteinase- (MMP-) 2, MMP-9, and cathepsin K in RANKL-induced osteoclasts. Additionally, saikosaponins A and D inhibited mRNA expression of parathyroid hormone-related protein as well as cell viability and invasion in metastatic human breast cancer cells. Thus, saikosaponins A and D can serve as a beneficial agent for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and cancer-induced bone loss.