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ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Osteon Myospalacem Baileyi, known as Sai long gu (Tibetan language, means "blind rat bone"), is the whole skeleton of Tibet plateau rodentia animal Myospalacem Baileyi. Osteon Myospalacem Baileyi had been widely used in the Tibet region as an anti-osteoporosis drug and since 1991 Osteon Myospalacem Baileyi has been listed in the Pharmacopoeia of People's Republic of China as the first-class animal new medical material. However, the mechanism of its anti-osteoporosis activities is still unclear. It is very desirable to solve this problem for further study.MATERIALS AND METHODS: in this study, preparative chromatography was employed to produce the active fraction ET4 from Osteon Myospalacem Baileyi crude. Flow cytometry and MTT assay were used to evaluate the toxicities of ET4. BMM cells were separated from mouse bone marrow to test the inhibition effects of ET4 on osteoclastogenesis. Western blot was used to find out the pathways, through which ET4 could act on osteoclastogenesis. Q-PCR was used to test the osteoclastogenesis marker genes. At last, immunofluorescence confocal microscopy was used to test the osteoclastogenesis master protein NFATc1 nuclei translocation. RESULTS: In this study we report that ET4, at the dose of 60μg/mL, significantly inhibited the formation of osteoclasts. Notably, ET4 did not affect the BMM viability at that dose. In addition, Osteon Myospalacem Baileyi could inhibit the expression of osteoclast marker genes, including cathepsin K (CTSK), nuclear factor of activated T cells cytoplasmic 1 (NFATc1), tartrate resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP, Acp5) dendrite cell-specific transmembrane protein (DC-STAMP), calcitonin receptor (CTR), osteoclast associated and immunoglobulin-like receptor (OSCAR). Mechanistically, ET4 dose- and time-dependently blocked the RANKL-induced activation of ERK and c-Fos as well as the induction of NFATc1 which is essential for OC formation. CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that ET4 might be a useful alternative therapy in preventing or treating osteolytic diseases.