Stimulating effect of whey protein hydrolysate on bone growth in MC3T3-E1 cells and a rat model

Joo Hyun Jang, Singeun Kim, Hyun Jung Lee, Hyung Joo Suh, Kyungae Jo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This study was conducted to investigate the effect of whey protein hydrolysate (WPH) on osteogenic cell differentiation and its growth-promoting effects in rats. Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and calcium deposition were measured by treating MC3T3-E1 cells with WPH, and mRNA and protein levels of factors related to osteoblast differentiation were assessed. ALP activity and calcium deposition were significantly increased in the WPH group (p < 0.001). These findings were confirmed by the upregulation of ALP, bone morphogenic protein, bone sialoprotein, and collagen at the mRNA and protein levels. Furthermore, to confirm the growth-promoting effect of WPH, bone growth was analyzed by administering 3-week-old Sprague-Dawley rats with whey protein or WPH. Moreover, serum levels of calcium, ALP, and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) were analyzed, bone analysis was performed using micro-CT, and the size of the growth plate was measured by Cresyl violet staining. When rats were administered with a high dose of WPH (600 mg per kg per day), calcium levels decreased significantly, while ALP levels (1.14-fold; p < 0.01), IGF-1 levels, tibia length, and growth plate height increased significantly compared to those in the control group. Collectively, WPH has shown to be effective in bone differentiation and bone growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5109-5117
Number of pages9
JournalFood and Function
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jun 7

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science


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