Resveratrol augments the canonical Wnt signaling pathway in promoting osteoblastic differentiation of multipotent mesenchymal cells

Haibin Zhou, Linshan Shang, Xi Li, Xiyu Zhang, Guimin Gao, Chenhong Guo, Bingxi Chen, Qiji Liu, Yaoqin Gong, Changshun Shao

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98 Scopus citations


Resveratrol has been shown to possess many health-benefiting effects, including the promotion of bone formation. In this report we investigated the mechanism by which resveratrol promotes osteoblastic differentiation from pluripotent mesenchymal cells. Since Wnt signaling is well documented to induce osteoblastogenesis and bone formation, we characterized the factors involved in Wnt signaling in response to resveratrol treatment. Resveratrol treatment of mesenchymal cells led to an increase in stabilization and nuclear accumulation of β-catenin dose-dependently and time-dependently. As a consequence of the increased nuclear accumulation of β-catenin, the ability to activate transcription of β-catenin-TCF/LEF target genes that are required for osteoblastic differentiation was upregulated. However, resveratrol did not affect the initial step of the Wnt signaling pathway, as resveratrol was as effective in upregulating the activity of β-catenin in cells in which Lrp5 was knocked down as in control cells. In addition, while conditioned medium enriched in Wnt signaling antagonist Dkk1 was able to inhibit Wnt3a-induced β-catenin upregulation, this inhibitory effect can be abolished in resveratrol-treated cells. Furthermore, we showed that the level of glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK-3β), which phosphorylates and destabilizes β-catenin, was reduced in response to resveratrol treatment. The phosphorylation of GSK-3β requires extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2. Together, our data indicate that resveratrol promotes osteoblastogenesis and bone formation by augmenting Wnt signaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2953-2962
Number of pages10
JournalExperimental Cell Research
Issue number17
StatePublished - Oct 15 2009
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by National Basic Research Program of China ; grant number 2007CB512001 , National High-tech Research and Development Program of China ; grant number: 2006AA02A406 and by the Cultivation Fund of the Key Scientific and Technical Innovation Project , Ministry of Education of China ( NO704030 ).


  • ERK
  • GSK-3β
  • Resveratrol
  • β-catenin


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