Different molecular targets of Icariin on bMSCs in CORT and OVX -rats

Qin Bian, Jian Hua Huang, Shu Fen Liu, You Ning, Zhu Yang, Yong Jian Zhao, Zi Yin Shen, Yong Jun Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Icariin (ICA) is an active component of Herba Epimedium effective in preventing osteoporosis. Bone mesenchymal stem cells (bMSCs) are an important target by which ICA promotes osteogenesis. However, its molecular mechanisms are poorly defined. In the present study, we induced osteoporosis in rats by corticosterone (CORT) and ovariectomy (OVX), treated both with ICA for 2 weeks or 3 months. As results, both models displayed bone loss tendency within 2 weeks and a significant bone loss after 3 months. ICA promoted bMSCs diffenentiation from CORT rat, and increased the secretion of osteocalcin, collagen I, runt-related transcription factor 2 in OVX model. Gene profile revealed a marked shift of gene expression by ICA, with much more significance in CORT rats. These potential molecular targets were involved in cell communication, adhesion, cycle and cytokines secretion. But very few genes overlapped in these two models, suggesting the effects and molecular mechanisms of ICA on osteoporosis might be pathogenesis-dependent. However, the Notch signaling pathway was common in both models, and should be paid close attention to for further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1224-1236
Number of pages13
JournalFrontiers in Bioscience - Elite
Volume4 E
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Bone Mesenchymal Stem Cell
  • Herba Epimedium
  • Icariin
  • Osteoporosis
  • Stem Cell Microarray

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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