Natural compounds with bone-forming (or anabolic) activity have been recently focused on in bone research. The present study investigated the effect of undecylenic acid (UA) on osteoblast differentiation in mouse osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 subclone 4 cells and primary mouse calvarial cells. Low concentrations of UA (up to 5 microM) exhibited no cytotoxicity and significantly increased the expression and activity of alkaline phosphatase (early differentiation marker of osteoblast) and calcium deposition with the induction of expression of the osteocalcin gene in both cells. Interestingly, at low concentration of UA, the induction of NF-kappaB p65 translocation into nucleus and the up-regulation of AP-1 and NFATc1 transcript levels were also observed, suggesting that the stimulatory effect of UA on osteoblast differentiation could be mediated through the activation of transcription factors. Additionally, although the patterns of UA-induced activation of MAP kinases (JNK and p38) were not completely consistent with the increase of both ALP activity and calcium deposition by UA, MAP kinases might be partially involved in the biological function of UA during the early and late stages of osteoblast differentiation.
Kim MH, Shim KS, Lee SU, Kim YS, Min YK, Kim SH. Stimulatory effect of undecylenic acid on mouse osteoblast differentiation. Phytother Res. 2010 April Laboratory of Chemical Genomics, Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon, Korea.