Patchouli Alcohol Modulates the Pregnancy X Receptor/Toll-like Receptor 4/Nuclear Factor Kappa B Axis to Suppress Osteoclastogenesis

Qian Lu, Chao Jiang, Jialong Hou, Hao Qian, Feifan Chu, Weiqi Zhang, Mengke Ye, Ziyi Chen, Jian Liu, Hanbing Yao, Jianfeng Zhang, Jiake Xu, Te Wang, Shunwu Fan, Qingqing Wang

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8 Citations (Scopus)


The incidence of osteoporosis, which is primarily characterized by plethoric osteoclast (OC) formation and severe bone loss, has increased in recent years. Millions of people worldwide, especially postmenopausal women, suffer from osteoporosis. The drugs commonly used to treat osteoporosis still exist many disadvantages, but natural extracts provide options for the treatment of osteoporosis. Therefore, the identification of cost-effective natural compounds is important. Patchouli alcohol (PA), a natural compound extracted from Pogostemon cablin that exerts anti-inflammatory effects, is used as a treatment for gastroenteritis. However, no research on the use of Patchouli alcohol in osteoporosis has been reported. We found that PA dose-dependently inhibited the receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand (RANKL)-induced formation and function of OCs without cytotoxicity. Furthermore, these inhibitory effects were reflected in the significant effect of PA on the NF-κB signaling pathway, as PA suppressed the transcription factors NFATc1 and c-Fos. We also determined that PA activated expression of the nuclear receptor pregnane X receptor (PXR) and promoted the PXR/Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) axis to inhibit the nuclear import of NF-κB (p50 and p65). Additionally, PA exerted therapeutic effects against osteoporosis in ovariectomized (OVX) mice, supporting the use of PA as a treatment for osteoporosis in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number684976
JournalFrontiers in Pharmacology
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2021


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