Metabolic bone diseases, including osteoporosis, when bones lose their mass and become so fragile that they could be damaged while sneezing or under little stress, are called the silent epidemic of the 21st century. A person does not even know about his illness before the first symptom – it can be a fracture of the spine or the neck of the hip. According to statistics, every third woman and every fifth man after 50 have osteoporosis. Thus, it is promising to search for and obtain substances and materials for implants that have osteoinductive properties and are capable of initiating the processes of transformation of stem cells into bone.
Certain trace elements, such as calcium and magnesium, influence the processes of bone regeneration and the maintenance of their normal structure. Organic molecules that can bind to them provide an improvement in the selectivity of their therapeutic action – the resulting complexes play a significant role in bone formation and development. From this point of view, salts of chelidonic acid have great potential, for example, from the Saussurea controversa known since ancient times for its healing properties.
The group of scientists from the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, Siberian State Medical University, and Tomsk Polytechnic University has previously discovered that calcium chelidonate is promising for engineering as a drug for restoring lost bone volume. In their latest work, they obtained this substance in a semisynthetic way: extracts from Saussurea controversa were the source of the chelidonic acid, to which an alkali solution and calcium chloride were added.
“The content of this substance differs in the samples of raw material and, most likely, its biosynthesis depends on the amount of calcium in the soil. For pharmaceutical purposes, it is advisable to use calcium chelidonate obtained by a semisynthetic method,” explains Elena Avdeeva, candidate of pharmaceutical sciences, a researcher at the Siberian State Medical University.
Scientists from the Institute of Organic Chemistry carried out an X-ray analysis and confirmed that the substance has a structure identical to a natural compound.
Researchers from the Center for Immunology and Cellular Biotechnologies of the IKBFU, together with scientists from the Siberian State Medical University, tested the effect of the substance in vitro and in vivo: it promoted the conversion of human stem cells derived from adipose tissue (hAMMSC) and mouse mesenchymal stromal cells into osteoblasts respectively. Calcium chelidonate is non-toxic and promotes bone regeneration: the results of in vitro studies have shown that a dose of only 10 mg / L statistically increases the number of viable stem cells compared to the control without this substance. The calcium phosphate-coated titanium implants bearing autologous bone marrow were introduced into mice. Calcium chelidonate stimulated the growth of new bone on the surface of the implant with daily administration of the drug for 35 days.
“The use of substances with osteoprotective properties, in particular, calcium chelidonate, is promising for the treatment of several diseases associated with bone defects or bone metabolism disorders. We are considering the development of a pharmaceutical form of the substance and its introduction into practical medicine,” concludes Larisa Litvinova, Doctor of Medicine, professor, head of the laboratory of immunology and cellular biotechnology at the IKBFU.