3 years ago

The effect of icariin on bone metabolism and its potential clinical application

D. Wang, D. Yang, S. Peng, Z. Wang, W. Zhen, J. Zhang


Osteoporosis is a bone disease characterized by reduced bone mass, which leads to increased risk of bone fractures, and poses a significant risk to public health, especially in the elderly population. The traditional Chinese medicinal herb Epimedii has been utilized for centuries to treat bone fracture and bone loss. Icariin is a prenylated flavonol glycoside isolated from Epimedium herb, and has been shown to be the main bioactive component. This review provides a comprehensive survey of previous studies on icariin, including its structure and function, effect on bone metabolism, and potential for clinical application. These studies show that icariin promotes bone formation by stimulating osteogenic differentiation of BMSCs (bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells), while inhibiting osteoclastogenic differentiation and the bone resorption activity of osteoclasts. Furthermore, icariin has been shown to be more potent than other flavonoid compounds in promoting osteogenic differentiation and maturation of osteoblasts. A 24-month randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial reported that icariin was effective in preventing postmenopausal osteoporosis with relatively low side effects. In conclusion, icariin may represent a class of flavonoids with bone-promoting activity, which could be used as potential treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00198-017-4255-1

DOI: 10.1007/s00198-017-4255-1

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