S-allylmercapto-N-acetylcysteine protects bone cells from oxidation and improves femur microarchitecture in healthy and diabetic mice

Reem Abu-Kheit, Shlomo Kotev-Emeth, Sahar Hiram-Bab, Yankel Gabet, Naphtali Savion*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Oxidative stress is involved in the deterioration of bone quality and mechanical strength in both diabetic and aging adults. Therefore, we studied the ability of the antioxidant compound, S-allylmercapto-N-acetylcysteine (ASSNAC) to protect bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) from advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) cytotoxicity and improve bone microarchitecture of adult healthy and obese/diabetic (db/db) female mice. ASSNAC effect on AGEs-treated cultured rat BMSCs was evaluated by Neutral Red and XTT cell survival and reactive oxygen species (ROS) level assays. Its effect on healthy (C57BL/6) and obese/diabetic (C57BLKS/J Leprdb+/+; db/db) female mice femur parameters, such as (1) number of adherent BMSCs, (2) percentage of CD73+/CD45 cells in bone marrow (BM), (3) glutathione level in BM cells, and (4) femur microarchitecture parameters by microcomputed tomography, was studied. ASSNAC treatment protected BMSCs by significantly decreasing AGEs-induced ROS production and increasing their cellular resistance to the cytotoxic effect of AGEs. ASSNAC treatment of healthy female mice (50 mg/kg/day; i.p.; age 12–20 weeks) significantly increased the number of BMSCs (+60%), CD73+/CD45 cells (+134%), and glutathione level (+110%) in the femur bone marrow. Furthermore, it increased the femur length (+3%), cortical diameter (+3%), and cortical areal moment of inertia (Ct.MOI; +10%) a surrogate for biomechanical strength. In db/db mice that demonstrated a compromised trabecular bone and growth plate microarchitecture, ASSNAC treatment restored the trabecular number (Tb.N, +29%), bone volume fraction (Tb.BV/TV, +130%), and growth plate primary spongiosa volumetric bone mineral density (PS-vBMD, +7%) and thickness (PS-Th, +18%). In conclusion, this study demonstrates that ASSNAC protects bone marrow cells from oxidative stress and may improve bone microarchitecture in adult healthy and diabetic female mice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1489-1500
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • Bone marrow stromal cells
  • diabetes type 2
  • microcomputed tomography
  • osteoporosis
  • oxidative stress


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