A team of scientists, rheumatologists, and pharmacologists from the Baltic Federal Immanuel Kant University in Kaliningrad, Russia is looking for substances and materials for implants with properties that can cause the stem cells to transform into bone. The aim is to combat bone diseases, like osteoporosis, whose incidence increases with the age of the population. This highly experimental work, published in the journal Pharmaceuticals, focuses on Calcium Chelidonate a potential compound for bone volume restoration. The Russian team finally succeeded in producing this substance semi-synthetically: from Saussurea controversa extracts they obtained chelidonic acid, to which the researchers added an alkaline solution and calcium chloride.
Bone loss and fragility can significantly increase the risk of bone damage and even fracture. This silent epidemic affects one in three women and one in five men over the age of 50 and is the cause of most back and femoral neck fractures in older people. There is therefore a great need to identify or develop substances and biomaterials for implants that promote stem cell conversion into bone.
Some mineral elements, such as magnesium and calcium, influence the processes involved in bone regeneration and help maintain healthy bone structure. Organic molecules that can bind to these nutrients can further enhance the selectivity of their therapeutic action. These molecules form key complexes with calcium and magnesium in bone formation and development.
Salts of chelidonic acid are one of these osteoinductive molecules and can be obtained from the Saussurea controversa plant, which has been known for its medicinal properties since ancient times. The team here demonstrated and confirmed the properties of calcium chelidonate for bone reconstruction and restoration of bone volume. The researchers used extracts of Saussurea controversa to obtain chelidonic acid, to which they added an alkaline solution and calcium chloride. Lead author Elena Avdeeva, a researcher in pharmaceutical sciences at the Siberian State University, and her team confirmed here that the compound obtained has a structure identical to that of the natural compound.
The effect of the complex was successfully tested in vitro and in vivo:
- In vitro, the compound promotes the transformation of stem cells generated from human adipose tissue and mice mesenchymal stromal cells into osteoblasts; a dose of just 10 mg/l statistically increases the number of viable stem cells compared to a control group without the compound.
- in vivo in mice, calcium phosphate-coated titanium implants were coated with calcium chelidonate. The complex, which was administered daily for 35 days, stimulated the growth of bone on the surface of the implant.
- Finally, calcium chelidonate was found to be non-toxic.
The use of substances with osteoprotective properties such as calcium chelidonate thus appears promising for the treatment of several bone diseases. A pharmaceutical form of this substance is being developed and its use in bone medicine is already being considered.
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