Total flavonoids of Rhizoma drynariae ameliorate steroid‑induced avascular necrosis of the femoral head via the PI3K/AKT pathway
- Wenxue Lv
- Mingxiu Yu
- Qingyi Yang
- Peng Kong
- Bing Yan
Affiliations: Department of Orthopaedics, The Affiliated Hospital of Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Lixia, Jinan, Shandong 250014, P.R. China, Department of Special Inspection, The Affiliated Hospital of Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Lixia, Jinan, Shandong 250014, P.R. China
- Published online on: March 9, 2021 https://doi.org/10.3892/mmr.2021.11984
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Steroid‑induced avascular necrosis of the femoral head (SANFH) is a common orthopaedic disease that is difficult to treat. The present study investigated the effects of total flavonoids of Rhizoma drynariae (TFRD) on SANFH and explored its underlying mechanisms. The SANFH rat model was induced by intramuscular injection of lipopolysaccharides and methylprednisolone. Osteoblasts were isolated from the calvariae of neonatal rats and then cultured with dexamethasone (Dex). TFRD was used in vitro and in vivo, respectively. Haematoxylin and eosin staining was used to assess the pathological changes in the femoral head. Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase‑mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick end labelling assay and flow cytometry were conducted to detect apoptosis of osteoblasts. The 2',7'‑dichlorofluorescein‑diacetate staining method was used to detect reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels in osteoblasts and the 3‑(4,5‑dimethylthiazol‑2‑yl)‑2,5‑diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay was used to detect osteoblast proliferation. The expression of caspase‑3, Bax, Bcl‑2, VEGF, runt‑related transcription factor 2 (RUNX2), osteoprotegerin (OPG), osteocalcin (OCN), receptor activator of nuclear factor κB ligand (RANKL) and phosphoinositide 3‑kinase (PI3K)/AKT pathway related‑proteins were detected via western blotting. It was found that TFRD reduced the pathological changes, inhibited apoptosis, increased the expression of VEGF, RUNX2, OPG and OCN, decreased RANKL expression and activated the PI3K/AKT pathway in SANFH rats. TFRD promoted proliferation, inhibited apoptosis and reduced ROS levels by activating the PI3K/AKT pathway in osteoblasts. In conclusion, TFRD protected against SANFH in a rat model. In addition, TFRD protected osteoblasts from Dex‑induced damage through the PI3K/AKT pathway. The findings of the present study may contribute to find an effective treatment for the management of SANFH.