Osteoporosis International

, Volume 16, Issue 12, pp 2039–2045 | Cite as

Green tea catechin enhances osteogenesis in a bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell line

  • Chung-Hwan Chen
  • Mei-Ling Ho
  • Je-Ken Chang
  • Shao-Hung Hung
  • Gwo-Jaw WangEmail author
Original Article


Green tea has been reported to possess antioxidant, antitumorigenic, and antibacterial qualities that regulate the endocrine system. Previous epidemiological studies found that the bone mineral density (BMD) of postmenopausal women with a habit of tea drinking was higher than that of women without habitual tea consumption. However, the effects of green tea catechins on osteogenic function have rarely been investigated. In this study, we tested (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), one of the green tea catechins, on cell proliferation, the mRNA expressions of relevant osteogenic markers, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and mineralization. In a murine bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell line, D1, the mRNA expressions of core binding factors a1 (Cbfa1/Runx2), osterix, osteocalcin, ALP increased after 48 h of EGCG treatment. ALP activity was also significantly augmented upon EGCG treatment for 4 days, 7 days and 14 days. Furthermore, mineralizations assayed by Alizarin Red S and von Kossa stain were enhanced after EGCG treatment for 2–4 weeks in D1 cell cultures. However, a 24-h treatment of EGCG inhibited thymidine incorporation of D1 cells. These results demonstrated that long-term treatment of EGCG increases the expressions of osteogenic genes, elevates ALP activity and eventually stimulates mineralization, in spite of its inhibitory effect on proliferation. This finding suggests that the stimulatory effects of EGCG on osteogenesis of mesenchymal stem cells may be one of the mechanisms that allow tea drinkers to possess higher BMD.


Catechin EGCG Mesenchymal stem cell Osteogenesis 



We appreciate the help of Prof. Shutsung Liao, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Chicago, USA, who provided the green tea catechins. We thank Shun-Cheng Wu and Yi-Jen Chen for helping the experiment process. This study was support by National Science Council Taiwan grant NSC93–2314-B-037–026


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Copyright information

© International Osteoporosis Foundation and National Osteoporosis Foundation 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chung-Hwan Chen
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Mei-Ling Ho
    • 2
    • 3
  • Je-Ken Chang
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
  • Shao-Hung Hung
    • 3
    • 6
    • 7
  • Gwo-Jaw Wang
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Orthopedics, Faculty of Medical SchoolCollege of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical UniversityKaohsiung CityTaiwan
  2. 2.Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medical SchoolCollege of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical UniversityKaohsiungTaiwan
  3. 3.Orthopedic Research CenterKaohsiung Medical UniversityKaohsiungTaiwan
  4. 4.Department of OrthopedicsKaohsiung Medical University Chung-Ho Memorial HospitalKaohsiungTaiwan
  5. 5.Graduate Institute of MedicineKaohsiung Medical UniversityKaohsiungTaiwan
  6. 6.Department of Biological SciencesNational Sun Yat-Sen UniversityKaohsiungTaiwan
  7. 7.Department of Orthopedic SurgeryFooyin University HospitalPing-Tung CountyTaiwan

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