Resveratrol augments the canonical Wnt signaling pathway in promoting osteoblastic differentiation of multipotent mesenchymal cells.

Research paper by Haibin H Zhou, Linshan L Shang, Xi X Li, Xiyu X Zhang, Guimin G Gao, Chenhong C Guo, Bingxi B Chen, Qiji Q Liu, Yaoqin Y Gong, Changshun C Shao

Indexed on: 12 Aug '09Published on: 12 Aug '09Published in: Experimental Cell Research


Resveratrol has been shown to possess many health-benefiting effects, including the promotion of bone formation. In this report we investigated the mechanism by which resveratrol promotes osteoblastic differentiation from pluripotent mesenchymal cells. Since Wnt signaling is well documented to induce osteoblastogenesis and bone formation, we characterized the factors involved in Wnt signaling in response to resveratrol treatment. Resveratrol treatment of mesenchymal cells led to an increase in stabilization and nuclear accumulation of beta-catenin dose-dependently and time-dependently. As a consequence of the increased nuclear accumulation of beta-catenin, the ability to activate transcription of beta-catenin-TCF/LEF target genes that are required for osteoblastic differentiation was upregulated. However, resveratrol did not affect the initial step of the Wnt signaling pathway, as resveratrol was as effective in upregulating the activity of beta-catenin in cells in which Lrp5 was knocked down as in control cells. In addition, while conditioned medium enriched in Wnt signaling antagonist Dkk1 was able to inhibit Wnt3a-induced beta-catenin upregulation, this inhibitory effect can be abolished in resveratrol-treated cells. Furthermore, we showed that the level of glycogen synthase kinase 3beta (GSK-3beta), which phosphorylates and destabilizes beta-catenin, was reduced in response to resveratrol treatment. The phosphorylation of GSK-3beta requires extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2. Together, our data indicate that resveratrol promotes osteoblastogenesis and bone formation by augmenting Wnt signaling.