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Osteoporosis is a systemic skeletal disease characterised by low bone mineral density (BMD), degeneration of bone micro-architecture, and impaired bone strength. Cissus quadrangularis (CQ), popularly known as Hadjod (bone setter) in Hindi, is a traditional medicinal herb exhibiting osteoprotective potential in various bone diseases, especially osteoporosis and fractures. However, the cellular mechanisms underpinning its direct effect on bone health through altering the host immune system have never been elucidated. In the present study, we interrogated the osteoprotective and immunoporotic (the osteoprotective potential of CQ via modulating the host immune system) potential of CQ in preventing inflammatory bone loss under oestrogen-deficient conditions. The current study outlines the CQ’s osteoprotective potential under both ex vivo and in vivo (ovariectomized) conditions. Our ex vivo data demonstrated that, in a dose-dependent manner CQ, suppresses the RANKL-induced osteoclastogenesis (p < 0.001) as well as inhibiting the osteoclast functional activity (p < 0.001) in mouse bone marrow cells (BMCs). Our in vivo µ-CT and flow cytometry data further showed that CQ administration improves bone health and preserves bone micro-architecture by markedly raising the proportion of anti-osteoclastogenic immune cells, such as Th1 (p < 0.05), Th2 (p < 0.05), Tregs (p < 0.05), and Bregs (p < 0.01), while concurrently lowering the osteoclastogenic Th17 cells in bone marrow, mesenteric lymph nodes, Peyer’s patches, and spleen in comparison to the control group. Serum cytokine analysis further supported the osteoprotective and immunoporotic potential of CQ, showing a significant increase in the levels of anti-osteoclastogenic cytokines (p < 0.05) (IFN-γ, IL-4, and IL-10) and a concurrent decrease in the levels of osteoclastogenic cytokines (p < 0.05) (TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-17). In conclusion, our data for the first time delineates the novel cellular and immunological mechanism of the osteoprotective potential of CQ under postmenopausal osteoporotic conditions.


Cissus quadrangularis, osteoporosis, immunoporosis, Th17, Tregs, Bregs

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