Biomed Pharmacother. 2019 Nov 4;121:109566. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2019.109566. [Epub ahead of print]
Oxidative stress is a crucial pathogenic factor in osteoporosis. Autophagy is a cellular self-digestion process that can selectively remove damaged organelles under oxidative stress, and thus presents a potential therapeutic target against osteoporosis. Monotropein is an iridoid glycoside which can increase osteoblastic bone formation and be applied for medicinal purpose in China. The aim of this work is to investigate whether autophagy participates the protection effects of monotropein in osteoblasts under oxidative stress and the possible mechanism of such involvement. Here, monotropein was capable of inhibiting the H2O2-induced reactive oxygen species generation in osteoblasts. Monotropein induced autophagy and protected osteoblasts from cytotoxic effects of H2O2, as assessed by viability assays, apoptosis and western blotting. Moreover, it significantly attenuated H2O2-evoked oxidative stress as measured by malondialdehyde, catalase, and superoxide dismutase levels. Importantly, monotropein reduced the phosphorylation of protein kinase B (Akt), mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and its two downstream proteins (p70S6K and 4EBP1). The autophagy level increased in osteoblasts treated with monotropein as represented by an increased in both Beclin1 expression and the LC3-II/LC3-I ratio. However, the Akt activator (SC79) and mTOR activator (MHY1485) suppressed the autophagy level induced by monotropein in H2O2-treated cells. Consequently, the antioxidant effects of monotropein were mediated, at least in part, by enhancing autophagy through the Akt/mTOR pathway. These results suggested that monotropein might be a promising candidate for osteoporosis treatment.