Role of Sandhika: A Polyherbal Formulation on MC3T3-E1 Osteoblast-like Cells

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Sandhika is a polyherbal formulation, (water soluble fraction of Commiphora mukul, Boswellia serrata, Semecarpus anacardium and Strychnos nux vomica), which has been in clinical use in India for last 20 years. Its modified formulation BHUx has shown specific inhibition of cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 and lipoxygenase (LOX)-15 and has prevented diet-induced atherosclerosis in rabbits. In order to explore the possibility of the use of Sandhika for the management of osteoporosis, we have examined its influence on MC3T3-E1 osteoblast-like cells in presence of lipopolysaccharide (1 μg/ml) in terms of calcium nodule formation and alkaline phosphatase activity. MC3T3-E1 osteoblast-like cells (80% confluence in 6-well plates) were treated with water extract of Sandhika, for 10 days, in the concentration range of 0.5 to 16 mg/ml final concentration, in presence of LPS. Media was changed on every third day and culture supernatant was collected after every change to assess the alkaline phosphatase activity and on the tenth day, cells were washed and stained with “Alizarin S” for visualization of calcium nodules by using Meta Morph software (Universal Imaging, Downingtown, PA). The results showed significant enhancement in calcium nodule formation in the dose dependent manner up to 2 mg/ml, followed by gradual decrease at higher concentrations. This change was accompanied with the increase in the alkaline phosphatase activity in these plates, indicating a potential anabolic effect of this polyherbal formulation on osteoblast-like cells under inflammatory conditions induced by LPS.

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