Research: CHIN and SOELAIMAN,

Listed in Issue 247

Abstract

CHIN and SOELAIMAN, (1)Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia,  Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz, 50300 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. imasoel@ppukm.ukm.edu.my reviewed the possible mechanisms of action of tocotrienol – as a potential anti-osteoporotic agent.

Background

Osteoporosis is posing a tremendous healthcare problem globally. Much effort has been invested in finding novel anti-osteoporotic agents to stop the progression of this disease.

Methodology

Tocotrienol, one of the isoforms of vitamin E, is poised as a potential anti-osteoporotic agent. Previous studies showed that tocotrienol as a single isomer or as a mixture demonstrated both anabolic and anti-resorptive effects in various rodent models of osteoporosis.

Results

In vitro experiments further demonstrated that tocotrienol could up-regulate genes related to osteoblastogenesis and modify receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa B signalling against osteoclastogenesis. Additionally, tocotrienol was also shown to be a strong 3- hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-CoA reductase down-regulator with a mechanism different from that of statins. Inhibition of the mevalonate pathway affects both osteoblast and osteoclast formation in favour of the former. Tocopherol, a more commonly used isoform of vitamin E does not possess similar effects. Tocotrienol is also a potent antioxidant. It can scavenge free radicals and prevent oxidative damage on osteoblast thus promoting its survival. It may also up-regulate the antioxidant defence network in osteoclast and indirectly act against free radical signalling essential in osteoclastogenesis. The effects of tocotrienol on Wnt/β-catenin signalling essential in osteoblastogenesis have not been determined.

Conclusion

More mechanistic studies need to be conducted to illustrate the anti-osteoporotic effects of tocotrienol. Clinical trials are also required to confirm its effects in humans. In conclusion, tocotrienol demonstrates great potential as an anti-osteoporotic agent and much research effort should be invested to develop it as an agent to curb osteoporosis.

References

Chin KY(1), Mo H, Soelaiman IN. A review of the possible mechanisms of action of tocotrienol - a potential antiosteoporotic agent. Curr Drug Targets. 14(13):1533-41. Dec 2013.

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