3,3′-Diindolylmethane attenuates experimental arthritis and osteoclastogenesis

Lei Dong, Suhua Xia, Fengbo Gao, Dachuan Zhang, Jiangning Chen, Junfeng Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


3,3′-Diindolylmethane (DIM) is a natural compound formed during the autolysis of glucobrassicin present in Brassica food plants. This study aimed to investigate the therapeutic efficacies of DIM on experimental arthritis. The effects of DIM on experimental arthritis were examined on a rat model of adjuvant-induced arthritis (AIA), with daily AIA paw swelling observation and histological/radiographic analysis. To elucidate the possible mechanisms of its action, serum cytokine levels as well as the expression of receptor activator for nuclear factor κ B ligand (RANKL) in infected tissues were subsequently analyzed. The impact of DIM on osteoclastogenesis was further investigated on a mouse model of endotoxin-induced bone resorption (EIBR) and in vitro cultures of fibroblast-like cells and osteoblasts, with RANKL expression being evaluated with great interest. The administration of DIM was demonstrated to attenuate AIA in animal models, as judged by clinical and histologic indices of inflammation and tissue damage. On the one hand, DIM could reduce the expression of several inflammatory cytokines, which was, however, not adequate to prevent the development of the arthritis. On the other hand, DIM was shown to effectively inhibit the expression of RANKL, leading to the blockade of osteoclastogenesis and consequently an alleviation of experimental arthritis. Further in vitro and in vivo studies confirmed the inhibition of RANKL by DIM. DIM has shown anti-arthritis activity in animal models via inhibiting the expression of RANKL, and thus may offer potential treatments for arthritis and associated disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)715-721
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical Pharmacology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • 3,3′-Diindolylmethane
  • Arthritis
  • Osteoclastogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Pharmacology


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