NC-8 (ent-16-oxobeyeran-19-N-methylureido) is an isosteviol-derived analogue with multiple biological effects, including anti-inflammation and anti-bacterial activities and inhibition of HBV viral surface antigen gene expression. In this study, we explored the effects of NC-8 on the formation of osteoclasts from RAW 264.7 cells. We found that NC-8 exerts the novel effect of inhibiting osteoclast-like cell formation. Our experiments showed that RANKL-induced ERK, p38, and JNK phosphorylation were inhibited by NC-8. An ovariectomy-induced osteoporosis animal model was used to examine the protective effects of oral treatment with NC-8. Serum analysis was used to examine markers of osteoblasts, osteoclasts, and renal and hepatic function in rats. Micro CT scanning and histological analysis were used to measure bone loss in ovariectomized rats. Oral administration of NC-8 effectively decreased excess bone resorption and significantly antagonized trabecular bone loss in ovariectomized rats. Serum analysis of C-terminal telopeptide of type-I collagen, an osteoclast marker, also showed that NC-8 administration inhibited excess bone resorption. Furthermore, serum analysis showed that renal and liver function were not affected by these doses of NC-8 during long-term treatment. Our results demonstrate that NC-8 inhibits osteoclast differentiation and effectively ameliorates ovariectomy-induced osteoporosis.
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