Magnolol inhibits RANKL-induced osteoclast differentiation of RAW 264.7 macrophages through heme oxygenase-1-dependent inhibition of NFATc1 expression

Sheng Hua Lu, Tso Hsiao Chen, Tz Chong Chou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)


Magnolol (1) isolated from Magnolia officinalis exhibits many beneficial effects such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of magnolol (1) on RANKL-induced osteoclast differentiation and investigate the underlying molecular mechanisms. Treatment with magnolol (1) significantly inhibited osteoclast differentiation of RAW 264.7 macrophages and bone-resorbing activity of osteoclasts in the RANKL-induced system. Moreover, RANKL-activated JNK/ERK/AP-1 and NF-κB signaling, ROS formation, and NFATc1 activation were attenuated by magnolol (1). A novel finding of this study is that magnolol (1) can increase heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) expression and Nrf2 activation in RANKL-stimulated cells. Blocking HO-1 activity with tin protoporphyrin IX markedly reversed magnolol (1)-mediated inhibition of osteoclast differentiation, NFATc1 nuclear translocation, and MMP-9 activity, suggesting that HO-1 contributes to the attenuation of NFATc1-mediated osteoclastogenesis by magnolol (1). Therefore, the inhibitory effect of magnolol (1) on osteoclast differentiation is due to inhibition of MAPK/c-fos/AP-1 and NF-κB signaling as well as ROS production and up-regulation of HO-1 expression, which ultimately suppresses NFATc1 induction. These findings indicate that magnolol (1) may have potential to treat bone diseases associated with excessive osteoclastogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-68
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Natural Products
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 23 2015


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this