Effect of azithromycin on mineralized nodule formation in mc3t3-e1 cells

Kengo Kato, Manami Ozaki, Kumiko Nakai, Maki Nagasaki, Junya Nakajima, Ryosuke Koshi, Hideki Tanaka, Takayuki Kawato, Morio Tonogi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Azithromycin displays immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effects in addition to broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity and is used to treat inflammatory diseases, including respiratory and odontogenic infections. Few studies have reported the effect of azithromycin therapy on bone remodeling processes. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of azithromycin on the osteogenic function of osteoblasts using osteoblast-like MC3T3-E1 cells. Cells were cultured in the presence of 0, 0.1, 1, and 10 µg/mL azithromycin, and cell proliferation and alkaline phosphatase (ALPase) activity were determined. In vitro mineralized nodule formation was detected with alizarin red staining. The expression of collagenous and non-collagenous bone matrix protein was determined using real-time PCR or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. In cells cultured with 10 µg/mL azithromycin, the ALPase activity and mineralized nodule formation decreased, while the type I collagen, bone sialoprotein, osteocalcin, and osteopontin mRNA expression as well as osteopontin and phosphorylated osteopontin levels increased. These results suggest that a high azithromycin concentration (10 µg/mL) suppresses mineralized nodule formation by decreasing ALPase activity and increasing osteopontin production, whereas low concentrations (≤l.0 µg/mL) have no effect on osteogenic function in osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1451-1459
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Issues in Molecular Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Azithromycin
  • MC3T3-E1 cells
  • Mineralized nodule
  • Osteoblast
  • Osteopontin


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