Stanozolol (ST) is a synthetic androgen with high anabolic potential. Although it is known that androgens play a positive role in bone metabolism, ST action on bone cells has not been sufficiently tested to support its clinical use for bone augmentation procedures. Objective: This study aimed to assess the effects of ST on osteogenic activity and gene expression in SaOS-2 cells. Material and Methods: SaOS-2 deposition of mineralizing matrix in response to increasing doses of ST (0-1000 nM) was evaluated through Alizarin Red S and Calcein Green staining techniques at 6, 12 and 24 days. Gene expression of runt-related transcription factor 2 (RUNX2), vitamin D receptor (VDR), osteopontin (SPP1) and osteonectin (ON) was analyzed by RT-PCR. Results: ST significantly influenced SaOS-2 osteogenic activity: stainings showed the presence of rounded calcified nodules, which increased both in number and in size over time and depending on ST dose. RT-PCR highlighted ST modulation of genes related to osteogenic differentiation. Conclusions: This study provided encouraging results, showing ST promoted the osteogenic commitment of SaOS-2 cells. Further studies are required to validate these data in primary osteoblasts and to investigate ST molecular pathway of action.
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