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Thiocolchicoside a semi-synthetic derivative of the Glory Lily: a new weapon to fight metastatic bone resorption?

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Thiocolchicoside a semi-synthetic derivative of the Glory Lily: a new weapon to fight metastatic bone resorption?

Metastatic bone disease is a serious clinical complication for the treatment of patients with advanced cancer, but few therapeutic options are currently available. Bisphosphonates are an established standard care for these patients, but new treatments are now emerging, including the use of monoclonal antibodies targeting the RANK ligand. In this issue of the BJP, Reuter et al. provide evidence that thiocolchicoside, a semi-synthetic derivative of the naturally occurring colchicoside, extracted from the seeds of Gloriosa superba (Liliaceae), prevented osteoclactogenesis by suppressing RANK ligand-mediated NF-κB activation. Thiolcolchicoside may thus represent an attractive therapeutic option for the management of bone metastatic disease.

Thiocolchicoside suppresses osteoclastogenesis induced by RANKL and cancer cells through inhibition of inflammatory pathways: a new use for an old drug

Most patients with cancer die not because of the tumour in the primary site, but because it has spread to other sites. Common tumours, such as breast, multiple myeloma, and prostate tumours, frequently metastasize to the bone. To search for an inhibitor of cancer-induced bone loss, we investigated the effect of thiocolchicoside, a semi-synthetic colchicoside derived from the plant Gloriosa superba and clinically used as a muscle relaxant, on osteoclastogenesis induced by receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) and tumour cells.
We used RAW 264.7 (murine macrophage) cells, a well-established system for osteoclastogenesis, and evaluated the effect of thiocolchicoside on RANKL-induced NF-κB signalling and osteoclastogenesis as well as on osteoclastogenesis induced by tumour cells.
Thiocolchicoside suppressed osteoclastogenesis induced by RANKL, and by breast cancer and multiple myeloma cells. Inhibition of the NF-κB pathway was responsible for this effect since the colchicoside inhibited RANKL-induced NF-κB activation, activation of IκB kinase (IKK) and suppressed inhibitor of NF-κBα (IκBα) phosphorylation and degradation, an inhibitor of NF-κB. Furthermore, an inhibitor of the IκBα kinase γ or NF-κB essential modulator, the regulatory component of the IKK complex, demonstrated that the NF-κB signalling pathway is mandatory for osteoclastogenesis induced by RANKL.
Together, these data suggest that thiocolchicoside significantly suppressed osteoclastogenesis induced by RANKL and tumour cells via the NF-κB signalling pathway. Thus, thiocolchicoside, a drug that has been used for almost half a century to treat muscle pain, may also be considered as a new treatment for bone loss.