, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 625-632
Date: 27 Apr 2010

Formononetin prevents ovariectomy-induced bone loss in rats

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The major risk factor of postmenopausal osteoporosis is estrogen deficiency. Hormone replacement therapy is efficacious against osteoporosis, but it induces several significant adverse effects. In this study, therefore, we compared therapeutic potencies of three phytoestrogens: genistein, daidzein, and formononetin. Our result showed that in Saos-2 cells, formononetin and genistein (5 × 10−7 M) treatment increased alkaline phosphatase activity by 33.0 ± 5.8% and 21.1 ± 4.0%. Genistein inhibited osteoclast formation in a dose-dependent manner. In OVX rats, formononetin-treated groups given 1 and 10 mg/kg/day displayed increased trabecular bone areas (TBAs) within the tibia. Genistein- and daidzein-treated groups also displayed increased tibial TBAs. TBAs of the lumbar vertebrae were higher in all treated groups than in the control group. In conclusion, formononetin as well as other isoflavones, such as daidzein and genistein, inhibited bone loss caused by estrogen-deficiency.