International journal of molecular sciences

Fucoidan, a sulfated polysaccharide, inhibits osteoclast differentiation and function by modulating RANKL signaling.

PMID 25334060


Multinucleated osteoclasts differentiate from hematopoietic progenitors of the monocyte/macrophage lineage. Because of its pivotal role in bone resorption, regulation of osteoclast differentiation is a potential therapeutic approach to the treatment of erosive bone disease. In this study, we have found that fucoidan, a sulfated polysaccharide extracted from brown seaweed, inhibited osteoclast differentiation. In particular, addition of fucoidan into the early stage osteoclast cultures significantly inhibited receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) ligand (RANKL)-induced osteoclast formation, thus suggesting that fucoidan affects osteoclast progenitors. Furthermore, fucoidan significantly inhibited the activation of RANKL-dependent mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) such as JNK, ERK, and p38, and also c-Fos and NFATc1, which are crucial transcription factors for osteoclastogenesis. In addition, the activation of NF-κB, which is an upstream transcription factor modulating NFATc1 expression, was alleviated in the fucoidan-treated cells. These results collectively suggest that fucoidan inhibits osteoclastogenesis from bone marrow macrophages by inhibiting RANKL-induced p38, JNK, ERK and NF-κB activation, and by downregulating the expression of genes that partake in both osteoclast differentiation and resorption.