Osthole Promotes Endochondral Ossification and Accelerates Fracture Healing in Mice

Zhongrong Zhang, Wing Nang Leung, Gang Li, Yau Ming Lai, Chun Wai Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Osthole has been found to restore bone mass in preclinical osteoporotic models. In the present study, we investigated the effects of osthole on bone fracture repair in mice. Adult C57BL/6 mice were subjected to transverse femoral fractures and administrated orally with 20 mg/kg osthole and vehicle solvent daily from week 1 post-operation. Fracture callus were analyzed by plain radiography, micro-computed tomography, histology, molecular imaging and immunohistochemistry and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase staining. Results demonstrated that osthole treatment enhanced removal of cartilage and bony union during reparative stage without significant interfering on remodeling process. In vivo molecular imaging showed bone formation rate of the treatment group was almost twofold of control group at week 2 post-operation. Osthole augmented the expression of alkaline phosphatase and collagen type X in hypertrophic chondrocytes as well as expression of bone morphogenetic protein-2, osteocalcin and alkaline phosphatase in osteoblastic cells, indicating it promoted mineralization of hypertrophic cartilage and woven bone growth simultaneously during endochondral healing. In summary, osthole promotes endochondral ossification via upregulation of maturation osteogenic marker genes in chondrocytes and subsequently accelerates fracture repair and bony fusion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)649-660
Number of pages12
JournalCalcified Tissue International
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016


  • Bone mineral density
  • Endochondral ossification
  • Fracture healing
  • Molecular imaging
  • Osthole

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Endocrinology


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