Dihydrotestosterone, a robust promoter of osteoblastic proliferation and differentiation: understanding of time-mannered and dose-dependent control of bone forming cells

Document Type: Original Article


1 Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, University Kebangsaan Malaysia (The National University of Malaysia), Jalan Yaacob Latif 56000, Cheras, Malaysia

2 Department of Pharmaceutics, Faculty of Pharmacy, University Teknologi MARA, Puncak Alam Campus, Bandar Puncak Alam 42300, Selangor, Malaysia


Objective(s): The present study was aimed to evaluate the time-mannered and dose-dependent effects of 5α-dihydrotestosterone (5α-DHT) on the proliferation and differentiation of bone forming cells using MC3T3-E1 cells.
Materials and Methods: Cell proliferation was analyzed using MTS and phase contrast microscopic assays. Osteogenic differentiation was assessed through a series of in vitro experiments including crystal violet staining, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, and Van Gieson (VG) staining. Taken together, the efficiency of bone mineralization was examined by using alizarin red s (ARS) staining, Von Kossa staining, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive x-ray (EDX) analysis.
Results: The resulting data revealed that 5α-DHT exhibits promising potential particularly at a dose of 0.1 ng/ml, in promoting the growth of MC3T3-E1 cells compared to the control group (CN). Moreover, a significantly higher ALP activity was evident in the experimental group treated with 5α-DHT compared to the CN group at various time intervals. MC3T3-E1 cells treated with 5α-DHT also expressed a remarkably higher collagen deposition and mineralization (calcium and phosphate contents) compared to the CN group at various time intervals.
Conclusion: Conclusively, we suggest that 5α-DHT exhibits outstanding potential of promoting proliferation and differentiation in osteoblasts which could be the in vitro basis for the efficacy of 5α-DHT in the treatment of androgen-deficient male osteoporosis.


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