Osteoclasts are multinucleated bone resorbing cells whose differentiation is regulated by several important signaling pathways. Several lines of evidence indicate that dihydroartemisinin (DHA), an anti-malarial drug, inhibits osteoclast differentiation with little cytotoxicity. However, the detailed inhibitory mechanisms of DHA on osteoclastogenesis from native cells remain to be elucidated. In this study, we investigated the effects of DHA on the differentiation of bone marrow-derived macrophages into osteoclasts. DHA inhibited receptor activator of nuclear factor κ-B ligand (RANKL)-induced osteoclast formation and its bone resorbing activity. Mechanistically, DHA treatment markedly abolished phosphorylation of IκBα, and slightly affected a p38 MAPK dependent pathway. Moreover, DHA treatment induced down-regulation of nuclear factor of activated T cells cytoplasmic-1 (NFATc1), a master regulator for osteoclast differentiation and its target proteins, such as Src and cathepsin K. These results indicate that DHA represses RANKL-induced osteoclastogenesis of bone marrow macrophages through reduced NFATc1 expression and impaired phosphorylation of IκBα.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)