Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Journal of Chemistry
Volume 2018 (2018), Article ID 3805932, 9 pages
Research Article

Gamma-Tocotrienol Stimulates the Proliferation, Differentiation, and Mineralization in Osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 Cells

1Department of Food Science and Engineering, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001, China
2Department of Central Laboratory, The First Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin 150090, China
3School of Life Science, Institute of Biomedical and Environmental Science and Technology, University of Bedfordshire, Luton LU1 3JU, UK

Correspondence should be addressed to Weili Xu and Shaobo Zhou

Received 11 October 2017; Accepted 6 December 2017; Published 15 January 2018

Academic Editor: Ji Kang

Copyright © 2018 Weili Xu 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.


Gamma-tocotrienol, a major component of tocotrienol-rich fraction of palm oil, has been suggested to exhibit bone protective effects in vivo. However, the effects of γ-tocotrienol on osteoblast cells are still unclear. In this study, the effects of γ-tocotrienol on the proliferation, differentiation, and mineralization in osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cells were investigated. Our results showed that γ-tocotrienol (2–8 μmol/L) significantly improved the cell proliferation (), but it did not affect cell cycle progression. γ-Tocotrienol significantly increased alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity (), secretion levels of osteocalcin (OC) and osteonectin (ON), and mRNA levels of collagen type I (Col I) of MC3T3-E1 cells. Meanwhile, we found that γ-tocotrienol is promoted in differentiation MC3T3-E1 cells by upregulation of the expression of Runx2 protein. Moreover, the number of bone nodules increased over 2.5-fold in cells treated with γ-tocotrienol (2–8 μmol/L) for 24 d compared to control group. These results indicated that γ-tocotrienol at low dose levels, especially 4 μmol/L, could markedly enhance the osteoblastic function by increasing the proliferation, differentiation, and mineralization of osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cells. Moreover, our data also indicated that Runx2 protein may be involved in these effects. Further studies are needed to determine the potential of γ-tocotrienol as an antiosteoporotic agent.