Back to Journals » Drug Design, Development and Therapy » Volume 14

Baicalin Ameliorates Dexamethasone-Induced Osteoporosis by Regulation of the RANK/RANKL/OPG Signaling Pathway

Authors Zhao Y, Wang HL, Li TT, Yang F, Tzeng CM

Received 31 July 2019

Accepted for publication 2 December 2019

Published 15 January 2020 Volume 2020:14 Pages 195—206


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Qiongyu Guo

Ye Zhao, 1, 2 Hui-Ling Wang, 1 Tong-Tong Li, 1 Fei Yang, 1 Chi-Meng Tzeng 1

1School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Nanjing Tech University, Nanjing 211800, People’s Republic of China; 2Jiangsu Synergetic Innovation Center for Advanced Bio-Manufacture, Nanjing Tech University, Nanjing 211800, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence: Ye Zhao; Chi-Meng Tzeng Email;

Background: Osteoporosis is a chronic bone metabolism disorder affecting millions of the world population. The RANKL/RANK/OPG signaling pathway has been confirmed to be the main regulator of osteoporosis. It is of great interest to identify appropriate therapeutic agents that can regulate the RANKL/RANK/OPG pathway. Baicalin (BA) is a well-known traditional Chinese medicine formula against various inflammatory diseases with a proven role of the RANKL/RANK/OPG pathway regulation. However, the potential effect of BA on osteoporosis and the mechanisms underlying this remain unclear. In the present study, we aimed to evaluate the efficacy of BA in the prevention of dexamethasone (DEX)-induced osteoporosis in zebrafish.
Methods: In this study, growth and development changes of zebrafish and calcein staining were assessed with a micrograph. The expression levels of RANKL and OPG and transcription factors in response to DEX induction and BA administration were evaluated by Western blotting and qRT-PCR. In addition, the intermolecular interactions of BA and RANKL were investigated by molecular docking.
Results: Results show that BA enhances the growth and development of dexamethasone (DEX)-induced osteoporosis in zebrafish larvae. Calcein staining and calcium and phosphorus determination revealed that BA ameliorates mineralization of DEX-induced osteoporosis zebrafish larvae. BA also regulates the expression of RANKL and OPG and hampers the changes in gene expression related to bone formation and resorption under the induction of DEX in zebrafish. It can be inferred by molecular docking that BA may interact directly with the extracellular domain of RANKL.
Conclusion: The findings, herein, reveal that BA ameliorates DEX-induced osteoporosis by regulation of the RANK/RANKL/OPG signaling pathway.

Keywords: Baicalin, osteoporosis, RANKL, RANK, OPG

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]