Kaempferol slows intervertebral disc degeneration by modifying LPS-induced osteogenesis/adipogenesis imbalance and inflammation response in BMSCs

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Intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration is a common disease that represents a significant cause of socio-economic problems. Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) are a potential autologous stem cell source for the nucleus pulposus regeneration. Kaempferol has been reported to exert protective effects against both osteoporosis and obesity. This study explored the effect of kaempferol on BMSCs differentiation and inflammation. The results demonstrated that kaempferol did not show any cytotoxicity at concentrations of 20, 60 and 100 μM. Kaempferol enhanced cell viability by counteracting the lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced cell apoptosis and increasing cell proliferation. Western blot analysis of mitosis-associated nuclear antigen (Ki67) and proliferation cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) further confirmed the increased effect of kaempferol on LPS-induced decreased viability of BMSCs. Besides, kaempferol elevated LPS-induced reduced level of chondrogenic markers (SOX-9, Collagen II and Aggrecan), decreased the level of matrix-degrading enzymes, i.e., matrix metalloprotease (MMP)-3 and MMP-13, suggesting the osteogenesis of BMSC under kaempferol treatment. On the other hand, kaempferol enhanced LPS-induced decreased expression of lipid catabolism-related genes, i.e., carnitine palmitoyl transferase-1 (CPT-1). Kaempferol also suppressed the expression of lipid anabolism-related genes, i.e., peroxisome proliferators-activated receptor-γ (PPAR-γ). The Oil red O staining further convinced the inhibition effect of kaempferol on BMSCs adipogenesis. In addition, kaempferol alleviated inflammatory by reducing the level of pro-inflammatory cytokines (i.e., interleukin (IL)-6) and increasing anti-inflammatory cytokine (IL-10) via inhibiting the nucleus translocation of nuclear transcription factor (NF)-κB p65. Taken together, our research indicated that kaempferol may serve as a novel target for treatment of IVD degeneration.

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