Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 150, Issue 1–3, pp 441–450 | Cite as

Selenium Protects Bone Marrow Stromal Cells Against Hydrogen Peroxide-Induced Inhibition of Osteoblastic Differentiation by Suppressing Oxidative Stress and ERK Signaling Pathway

  • Hongmei Liu
  • Weixia Bian
  • Songxiu Liu
  • Kaixun Huang


Osteoporosis is a bone disease that leads to an increased risk of fracture. Oxidative stress may play a major role in the development of osteoporosis in part by inhibiting osteoblastic differentiation of bone marrow stromal cells (MSCs). Some evidence suggested that antioxidant selenium could prevent osteoporosis, but the underlying mechanism remains unclear. In this work, the effect of sodium selenite on H2O2-induced inhibition of osteoblastic differentiation of primary rat bone MSCs and the related mechanisms were examined. Pretreatment with selenite inhibited the adverse effect of H2O2 on osteoblastic differentiation of MSCs, based on alkaline phosphatase activity, gene expression of type I collagen and osteocalcin, and matrix mineralization. In addition, selenite pretreatment also suppressed the activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) induced by H2O2. The above effects were mediated by the antioxidant effect of selenite. Selenite enhanced the gene expression and activity of glutathione peroxidase, reversed the decreased total antioxidant capacity and reduced glutathione, and suppressed reactive oxygen species production and lipid peroxidation level in H2O2-treated MSCs. These results showed that selenite protected MSCs against H2O2-induced inhibition of osteoblastic differentiation through inhibiting oxidative stress and ERK activation, which provided, for the first time, the mechanistic explanation for the negative association of selenium status and risk of osteoporosis in terms of bone formation.


Selenium Marrow stromal cells Osteoblastic differentiation Oxidative stress Extracellular signal-regulated kinase 



Alkaline phosphatase


Bone mineral densities


Bovine serum albumin

Col I

Type I collagen


2,7-Dichlorofluorescein diacetate


Enhanced chemiluminescence


Extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 and 2


Glutathione peroxidase


Cellular GPx


Reduced glutathione


c-Jun N-terminalkinase


Mitogen-activated protein kinases




Marrow stromal cells


3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide


Newborn calf serum




Phosphate-buffered saline


Reactive oxygen species


Total antioxidant capacity



We thank the faculty from Analytical and Testing Center of Huazhong University of Science and Technology. This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant no. 30700136 and 31170775).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hongmei Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Weixia Bian
    • 1
  • Songxiu Liu
    • 1
  • Kaixun Huang
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringHuazhong University of Science and TechnologyWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Hubei Key Laboratory of Bioinorganic Chemistry and Materia MedicaWuhanPeople’s Republic of China

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