Inhibitory effects of eugenol on RANKL-induced osteoclast formation via attenuation of NF-kappa B and MAPK pathways

25 Jun 2015

Bone loss diseases are often associated with increased receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL)-induced osteoclast formation. Compounds that can attenuate RANKL-mediated osteoclast formation are of great biomedical interest. Eugenol, a phenolic constituent of clove oil possesses medicinal properties; however, its anti-osteoclastogenic potential is unexplored hitherto. Here, we found that eugenol dose-dependently inhibited the RANKL-induced multinucleated osteoclast formation and TRAP activity in RAW264.7 macrophages. The underlying molecular mechanisms included the attenuation of RANKL-mediated degradation of IκBα and subsequent activation of NF-κB pathway. Furthermore, increase in phosphorylation and activation of RANKL-induced mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways (MAPK) was perturbed by eugenol. RANKL-induced expression of osteoclast-specific marker genes such as TRAP, cathepsin K (CtsK) and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) was remarkably downregulated by eugenol. These findings provide the first line of evidence that eugenol mediated attenuation of RANKL-induced NF-κB and MAPK pathways could synergistically contribute to the inhibition of osteoclast formation. Eugenol could be developed as therapeutic agent against diseases with excessive osteoclast activity.