Anti-osteoporosis activity of Astragalus membranaceus Bunge extract in experimental rats
Purpose: To investigate the anti-osteoporosis effect of Astragalus membranaceus (Fisch.) Bunge. extract (AMBE) in experimental rats.
Method: Female Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into six groups: control group, ovariectomy (OVX) with vehicle group, OVX with 17β-estradiol (E2, 25 μg/kg/day) group, and OVX with AMBE doses (60, 120 and 240 mg/kg/day) groups. Daily oral administration of AMBE or E2 was started 4 weeks after OVX and lasted for 16 weeks. The bone mineral density (BMD) of L4 vertebrae and right femurs was evaluated. The length of each femur was measured with a micrometer, and the center of diaphysis was determined. Three representative L4 vertebrae were selected to evaluate trabecular microarchitecture. Serum alkaline phosphatase (ALP), urinary calcium (U-Ca), urinary phosphorus (UP), urinary creatinine (Cr) and osteocalcin (OC) levels were measured.
Results: AMBE dose-dependently inhibited the bone mineral density (BMD) reduction of L4 vertebrae (0.27 ± 0.03 g/cm2, p < 0.05) and femurs (0.23 ± 0.03 g/cm2, p < 0.05) caused by OVX and prevented the deterioration of trabecular microarchitecture (p < 0.05), which were accompanied by a significant decrease in skeletal remodeling (p < 0.05) as evidenced by the lower levels of bone turnover markers. A higher dosage of AMBE treatment (240 mg/kg/day) increased U-Ca/Cr (0.27 ± 0.03 mmol/mmol), ALP (137.23 ± 16.72 U/L), U-P/Cr (4.18 ± 0.27 mmol/mmol) and OC (8.47 ± 0.26 mmol/L) levels (both p < 0.05).
Conclusion: The findings of this study indicate that AMBE prevents OVX-induced osteoporosis in rats.
Keywords: Astragalus membranaceus (Fisch.) Bunge, Osteoporosis, Ovariectomy, Bone mineral density