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1.  Different skeletal effects of the peroxisome proliferator activated receptor (PPAR)α agonist fenofibrate and the PPARγ agonist pioglitazone 
All the peroxisome proliferator activated receptors (PPARs) are found to be expressed in bone cells. The PPARγ agonist rosiglitazone has been shown to decrease bone mass in mice and thiazolidinediones (TZDs) have recently been found to increase bone loss and fracture risk in humans treated for type 2 diabetes mellitus. The aim of the study was to examine the effect of the PPARα agonist fenofibrate (FENO) and the PPARγ agonist pioglitazone (PIO) on bone in intact female rats.
Rats were given methylcellulose (vehicle), fenofibrate or pioglitazone (35 mg/kg body weight/day) by gavage for 4 months. BMC, BMD, and body composition were measured by DXA. Histomorphometry and biomechanical testing of excised femurs were performed. Effects of the compounds on bone cells were studied.
The FENO group had higher femoral BMD and smaller medullary area at the distal femur; while trabecular bone volume was similar to controls. Whole body BMD, BMC, and trabecular bone volume were lower, while medullary area was increased in PIO rats compared to controls. Ultimate bending moment and energy absorption of the femoral shafts were reduced in the PIO group, while similar to controls in the FENO group. Plasma osteocalcin was higher in the FENO group than in the other groups. FENO stimulated proliferation and differentiation of, and OPG release from, the preosteoblast cell line MC3T3-E1.
We show opposite skeletal effects of PPARα and γ agonists in intact female rats. FENO resulted in significantly higher femoral BMD and lower medullary area, while PIO induced bone loss and impairment of the mechanical strength. This represents a novel effect of PPARα activation.
PMCID: PMC2678137  PMID: 19331671
2.  Skeletal Effects of the Saturated 3-Thia Fatty Acid Tetradecylthioacetic Acid in Rats 
PPAR Research  2011;2011:436358.
This study explores the skeletal effects of the peroxisome proliferator activated receptor (PPAR)pan agonist tetradecylthioacetic acid (TTA). Rats, without (Study I) and with ovariectomy (OVX) or sham operation (Study II), were given TTA or vehicle daily for 4 months. Bone markers in plasma, whole body and femoral bone mineral density and content (BMD and BMC), and body composition were examined. Histomorphometric and biomechanical analyses (Study I) and biomechanical and μCT analyses (Study II) of the femur were performed. Normal rats fed TTA had higher femoral BMD and increased total and cortical area in femur compared to controls. The ovariectomized groups had decreased BMD and impaired microarchitecture parameters compared to SHAM. However, the TTA OVX group maintained femoral BMC, trabecular thickness in the femoral head, and cortical volume in the femoral metaphysis as SHAM. TTA might increase BMD and exert a light preventive effect on estrogen-related bone loss in rats.
PMCID: PMC3236357  PMID: 22190907
3.  Effect of whole body vibration therapy on circulating serotonin levels in an ovariectomized rat model of osteoporosis 
Objective(s): Studies have reported that whole body vibration (WBV) played a vital role in bone remodeling. Circulating serotonin is also involved in negative regulating bone mass in rodents and humans. However, both WBV and inhibition of serotonin biosynthesis may suppress receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappaB ligand (RANKL)-induced osteoclastogenesis in vitro. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the effect of WBV therapy on the levels of serum serotonin in ovariectomized rats.
Materials and Methods: Thirty-six-month-old female Sprague Dawley rats weighing 276.15±37.75 g were ovariectomized to induce osteoporosis, and another ten rats underwent sham operation to establish sham control (SHAM) group. After 3 months, ovariectomized rats were divided into three subgroups and then separately treated with WBV, Alendronate (ALN) and normal saline (OVX), SHAM group was given normal saline. After 6 weeks of treatment, rats were sacrificed. Serum serotonin, RANKL, bone turnover markers, and bone mineral density (BMD), bone strength were evaluated.
Results: The serum serotonin level was significantly lower in WBV group than OVX and ALN groups (P<0.05 and P<0.001). RANKL levels significantly decreased in WBV and ALN groups compared to OVX group (P<0.001 for both). BMD and biomechanical parameters of femur significantly increased (P<0.05 for both) and bone turnover levels decreased (P<0.001 for both) in WBV group compared to OVX group.
Conclusion: These data indicated that WBV enhanced the bone strength and BMD in ovariectomized rats most likely by reducing the levels of circulating serotonin.
PMCID: PMC3938888  PMID: 24592309
Osteoporosis; Ovariectomy; Serotonin; Whole body vibration
4.  Addition of Fructooligosaccharides and Dried Plum to Soy-Based Diets Reverses Bone Loss in the Ovariectomized Rat 
Dietary bioactive components that play a role in improving skeletal health have received considerable attention in complementary and alternative medicine practices as a result of their increased efficacy to combat chronic diseases. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the additive or synergistic effects of dried plum and fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and to determine whether dried plum and FOS or their combination in a soy protein-based diet can restore bone mass in ovarian hormone deficient rats. For this purpose, 72 3-month-old female Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into six groups (n = 12) and either ovariectomized (Ovx, five groups) or sham-operated (sham, one group). The rats were maintained on a semipurified standard diet for 45 days after surgery to establish bone loss. Thereafter, the rats were placed on one of the following dietary treatments for 60 days: casein-based diet (Sham and Ovx), soy-based diet (Ovx + soy) or soy-based diet with dried plum (Ovx + soy + plum), FOS (Ovx + soy + FOS) and combination of dried plum and FOS (Ovx + soy + plum + FOS). Soy protein in combination with the test compounds significantly improved whole-body bone mineral density (BMD). All test compounds in combination with soy protein significantly increased femoral BMD but the combination of soy protein, dried plum and FOS had the most pronounced effect in increasing lumbar BMD. Similarly, all of the test compounds increased ultimate load, indicating improved biomechanical properties. The positive effects of these test compounds on bone may be due to their ability to modulate bone resorption and formation, as shown by suppressed urinary deoxypyridinoline excretion and enhanced alkaline phosphatase activity.
PMCID: PMC3137675  PMID: 18955356
5.  Thiazolidinediones repress ob gene expression in rodents via activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1996;98(4):1004-1009.
The ob gene product, leptin, is a signaling factor regulating body weight and energy balance. ob gene expression in rodents is increased in obesity and is regulated by feeding patterns and hormones, such as insulin and glucocorticoids. In humans with gross obesity, ob mRNA levels are higher, but other modulators of human ob expression are unknown. In view of the importance of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma) in adipocyte differentiation, we analyzed whether ob gene expression is subject to regulation by factors activating PPARs. Treatment of rats with the PPARalpha activator fenofibrate did not change adipose tissue and body weight and had no significant effect on ob mRNA levels. However, administration of the thiazolidinedione BRL49653, a PPARgamma ligand, increased food intake and adipose tissue weight while reducing ob mRNA levels in rats in a dose-dependent manner. The inhibitory action of the thiazolidinedione BRL49653 on ob mRNA levels was also observed in vitro. Thiazolidinediones reduced the expression of the human ob promoter in primary adipocytes, however, in undifferentiated 3T3-L1 preadipocytes lacking endogenous PPARgamma, cotransfection of PPARgamma was required to observe the decrease. In conclusion, these data suggest that PPARgamma activators reduce ob mRNA levels through an effect of PPARgamma on the ob promoter.
PMCID: PMC507516  PMID: 8770873
6.  Effect of dietary legumes on bone-specific gene expression in ovariectomized rats 
Nutrition Research and Practice  2013;7(3):185-191.
In previous studies, we found that the consumption of legumes decreased bone turnover in ovariectomized rats. The purpose of the present study is to determine whether the protective effects on bone mineral density (BMD) and the microarchitecture of a diet containing legumes are comparable. In addition, we aim to determine their protective actions in bones by studying bone specific gene expression. Forty-two Sprague-Dawley rats are being divided into six groups during the 12 week study: 1) rats that underwent sham operations (Sham), 2) ovariectomized rats fed an AIN-93M diet (OVX), 3) ovariectomized rats fed an AIN-93M diet with soybeans (OVX-S), 4) ovariectomized rats fed an AIN-93M diet with mung beans (OVX-M), 5) ovariectomized rats fed an AIN-93M diet with cowpeas (OVX-C), and 6) ovariectomized rats fed an AIN-93M diet with azuki beans (OVX-A). Consumption of legumes significantly increased BMD of the spine and femur and bone volume of the femur compared to the OVX. Serum calcium and phosphate ratio, osteocalcin, expression of osteoprotegerin (OPG), and the receptor activator of nuclear factor κB ligand (RANKL) ratio increased significantly, while urinary excretion of calcium and deoxypyridinoline and expression of TNF-α and IL-6 were significantly reduced in OVX rats fed legumes, compared to OVX rats that were not fed legumes. This study demonstrates that consumption of legumes has a beneficial effect on bone through modulation of OPG and RANKL expression in ovariectomized rats and that legume consumption can help compensate for an estrogen-deficiency by preventing bone loss induced by ovarian hormone deficiency.
PMCID: PMC3679327  PMID: 23766879
Bone mass density; bone-specific gene expression; cytokines; legumes; ovariectomized rats
7.  Prolonged Treatments With Antiresorptive Agents and PTH Have Different Effects on Bone Strength and the Degree of Mineralization in Old Estrogen-Deficient Osteoporotic Rats 
Current approved medical treatments for osteoporosis reduce fracture risk to a greater degree than predicted from change in BMD in women with postmenopausal osteoporosis. We hypothesize that bone active agents improve bone strength in osteoporotic bone by altering different material properties of the bone. Eighteen-month-old female Fischer rats were ovariectomized (OVX) or sham-operated and left untreated for 60 days to induce osteopenia before they were treated with single doses of either risedronate (500 μg/kg, IV), zoledronic acid (100 μg/kg, IV), raloxifene (2 mg/kg, PO, three times per week), hPTH(1-34) (25 μg/kg, SC, three times per week), or vehicle (NS; 1 ml/kg, three times per week). Groups of animals were killed after days 60 and 180 of treatment, and either the proximal tibial metaphysis or lumbar vertebral body were studied. Bone volume and architecture were assessed by μCT and histomorphometry. Measurements of bone quality included the degree of bone mineralization (DBM), localized elastic modulus, bone turnover by histomorphometry, compression testing of the LVB, and three-point bending testing of the femur. The trabecular bone volume, DBM, elastic modulus, and compressive bone strength were all significantly lower at day 60 post-OVX (pretreatment, day 0 study) than at baseline. After 60 days of all of the bone active treatments, bone mass and material measurements agent were restored. However, after 180 days of treatment, the OVX + PTH group further increased BV/TV (+30% from day 60, p < 0.05 within group and between groups). In addition, after 180 days of treatment, there was more highly mineralized cortical and trabecular bone and increased cortical bone size and whole bone strength in OVX + PTH compared with other OVX + antiresorptives. Treatment of estrogen-deficient aged rats with either antiresorptive agents or PTH rapidly improved many aspects of bone quality including microarchitecture, bone mineralization, turnover, and bone strength. However, prolonged treatment for 180 days with PTH resulted in additional gains in bone quality and bone strength, suggesting that the maximal gains in bone strength in cortical and trabecular bone sites may require a longer treatment period with PTH.
PMCID: PMC3276355  PMID: 18847326
PTH(1-34); intravenous bisphosphonates; bone mineralization; compression and bending strengths; bone mineral homogeneity
8.  Establishing a rapid animal model of osteoporosis with ovariectomy plus low calcium diet in rats 
The objective of this study was to rapidly develop osteoporotic model animals by combining ovariectomy with a low calcium diet in rats. Thirty, eight-week-old, female, Sprague-Dawley rats were either sham-operated (Sham) or ovariectomized (Ovx) and divided into three groups: Sham, Ovx, and Ovx + low calcium diet. Rats in the Sham and Ovx groups were fed a standard diet containing 1.1% w/w calcium while rats in the Ovx + low calcium diet group were fed a diet containing 0.1% w/w calcium. Serum osteocalcin and bone mineral density (BMD) of the lumbar vertebrae were measured 4 and 8 weeks after surgery. The rats were euthanized 12 weeks after surgery, and the BMD of the right femur and histomorphometry of the femoral neck were assessed at that time. The Ovx + low-calcium diet group had a significantly lower mean BMD of the lumbar vertebra and higher mean serum osteocalcin concentration than the Sham and Ovx groups. Twelve weeks after surgery, rats in the Ovx + low calcium diet group had a significantly lower BMD, smaller Tb.Th and Tb.N, and larger Tb.Sp of the right femoral neck than did rats in the Sham and Ovx groups. These data indicate that a low calcium diet can significantly accelerate bone loss in ovariectomized rats. Combining ovariectomy and a low calcium diet can save considerable time in the creation of osteoporotic model animals.
PMCID: PMC4152076  PMID: 25197386
Animal model; osteoporosis; ovariectomy; low calcium diet
9.  Fenofibrate Does Not Affect Burn-Induced Hepatic Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress 
The Journal of surgical research  2013;185(2):10.1016/j.jss.2013.06.029.
Burn injury causes major metabolic derangements such as hypermetabolism, hyperlipidemia, and insulin resistance and is associated with liver damage, hepatomegaly, and hepatic endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. Although the physiological consequences of such derangements have been delineated, the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unknown. Previously, it was shown that fenofibrate improves patient outcome by attenuating post-burn stress responses.
Fenofibrate, a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-α agonist, regulates liver lipid metabolism and has been used to treat hypertriglyceridemia and hypercholesterolemia for many years. The aim of the present study is to determine the effects of fenofibrate on burn-induced hepatic morphologic and metabolic changes. We randomized rats to sham, burn injury, and burn injury plus fenofibrate. Animals were sacrificed and livers were assessed at 24 or 48 hours post-burn.
Burn injury decreased albumin and increased alanine transaminase (p = 0.1 vs. sham), indicating liver injury. Fenofibrate administration did not restore albumin or decrease alanine transaminase. In addition, ER stress was significantly increased after burn injury both with and without fenofibrate (p < 0.05 vs. sham). Burn injury increased fatty acid metabolism gene expression (p < 0.05 vs. sham), downstream of PPARα. Fenofibrate treatment increased fatty acid metabolism further, which reduced post-burn hepatic steatosis (burn vs. sham p < 0.05, burn+fenofibrate vs. sham not significant).
Fenofibrate did not alleviate thermal injury induced hepatic ER stress and dysfunction but reduced hepatic steatosis by modulating hepatic genes related to fat metabolism.
PMCID: PMC3823693  PMID: 23866789
burn; liver metabolism; fenofibrate; steatosis; endoplasmic reticulum stress; apoptosis
10.  Effects of low-magnitude, high-frequency mechanical stimulation in the rat osteopenia model 
Osteoporosis International  2009;20(12):1999-2008.
In this study, short-term, whole-body vertical vibration at 90 Hz improved trabecular bone quality. There was an improvement of bone quality and density in both osteoporotic and control rats. This treatment may therefore be an attractive option for the treatment of osteoporosis.
Aside from pharmacological treatment options, physical exercise is known to augment bone mass. In this study, the effects of whole-body vertical vibration (WBVV) on bone quality and density were evaluated using an osteoporotic rat model.
Sixty female Sprague Dawley rats were ovariectomized (C) or sham (SHAM) operated at the age of 3 months. After 3 months, both groups were divided into two subgroups that received either WBVV at 90 Hz for 35 days or no treatment. After sacrificing the rats, we evaluated vertebral bone strength, histomorphometric parameters, and bone mineral density (BMD).
Treatment with WBVV resulted in improved biomechanical properties. The yield load after WBVV was significantly enhanced. According to yield load and Young’s modulus, the treated OVX rats reached the level of the untreated SHAM animals. In all measured histomorphometric parameters, WBVV significantly improved bone density. Treatment with WBVV demonstrated greater effects on the trabecular bone compared to the cortical bone. The ash-BMD index showed significant differences between treated and untreated rats.
Using WBVV as a non-pharmacological supportive treatment option for osteoporosis demonstrated an enhancement of bone strength and bone mass. This procedure may be an attractive option for the treatment of osteoporosis.
PMCID: PMC2777215  PMID: 19283328
Mechanical stimuli; Osteoporosis; Trabecular bone; Whole-body vibration
11.  Effects of Sigma Anti-bonding Molecule Calcium Carbonate on bone turnover and calcium balance in ovariectomized rats 
Laboratory Animal Research  2011;27(4):301-307.
This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of Sigma Anti-bonding Molecule Calcium Carbonate (SAC) as therapy for ovariectomy-induced osteoporosis in rats. Three weeks after surgery, fifteen ovariectomized Sprague-Dawley rats were divided randomly into 3 groups: sham-operated group (sham), ovariectomized group (OVX) and SAC-treatment group (OVX+SAC). The OVX+SAC group was given drinking water containing 0.0012% SAC for 12 weeks. Bone breaking force and mineralization as well as blood parameters related to the bone metabolism were analyzed. In OVX animals, blood concentration of 17β-estradiol decreased significantly, while osteocalcin and type I collagen C-terminal telopeptides (CTx) increased. Breaking force, bone mineral density (BMD), calcium and phosphorus in femurs, as well as uterine and vaginal weights, decreased significantly following OVX. However, SAC treatment (0.0012% in drinking water) not only remarkably restored the decreased 17β-estradiol and increased osteocalcin and CTx concentrations, but also recovered decreased femoral breaking force, BMD, calcium and phosphorus, although it did not reversed reproductive organ weights. It is suggested that SAC effectively improve bone density by preventing bone turnover mediated osteocalcin, CTx and minerals, and that it could be a potential candidate for therapy or prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis.
PMCID: PMC3251760  PMID: 22232638
Osteoporosis; bone mineral density; Sigma Anti-bonding Molecule Calcium Carbonate; 17β-estradiol; osteocalcin; type I collagen C-terminal telopeptides
12.  Effect of Cistanches Herba Aqueous Extract on Bone Loss in Ovariectomized Rat 
To assess the ability of traditional Chinese medicine Cistanches Herba extract (CHE) to prevent bone loss in the ovariectomized (OVX) rat, Cistanches Herba extract (CHE) was administered intragastrically to the rats. Female rats were anesthetized with pentobarbital sodium (40 mg kg−1, i.p.), and their ovaries were removed bilaterally. The rats in the sham-operated group were anesthetized, laparotomized, and sutured without removing their ovaries. After 1 week of recovery from surgery, the OVX rats were randomly divided into three groups and orally treated with H2O (OVX group) or CHE (100 or 200 mg kg−1 daily) for 3 months. The sham-operated group (n = 8) was orally treated with H2O. After 3 months, the total body bone mineral density (BMD), bone mineral content (BMC), Bone biomechanical index, blood mineral levels and blood antioxidant enzymes activities were examined in sham-operated, ovariectomized and Cistanches Herba extract treated rats. Results showed that Cistanches Herba extract treatment significantly dose-dependently enhanced bone mineral density (BMD), bone mineral content (BMC), maximum load, displacement at maximum load, stress at maximum load, load at auto break, displacement at auto break, and stress at auto break, and blood antioxidant enzymes activities, decreased blood Ca, Zn and Cu levels compared to the OVX group. This experiment demonstrates that the administration of Cistanches Herba extract to ovariectomized rats reverses bone loss and prevents osteoporosis.
PMCID: PMC3179152  PMID: 21954345
ovariectomy; rat; bone; antioxidant; Cistanches Herba
13.  Effects of Chronic Estrogen Treatment on Modulating Age-Related Bone Loss in Female Mice 
While female mice do not have the equivalent of a menopause, they do undergo reproductive senescence. Thus, to dissociate effects of aging versus estrogen deficiency on age-related bone loss, we sham operated, ovariectomized, or ovariectomized and estrogen replaced female C57/BL6 mice at 6 months of age and followed them to age 18-22 months. Lumbar spines and femurs were excised for analysis, and bone marrow hematopoietic lineage negative (lin-) cells (enriched for osteoprogenitor cells) were isolated for gene expression studies. Six month old intact control mice were sacrificed to define baseline parameters. Compared to young mice, aged/sham mice had a 42% reduction in lumbar spine bone volume/total volume (BV/TV), and maintaining constant estrogen levels over life in ovariectomized/estrogen-treated mice did not prevent age-related trabecular bone loss at this site. By contrast, life-long estrogen treatment of ovariectomized mice completely prevented the age-related reduction in cortical volumetric BMD and thickness at the tibial diaphysis present in the aged/sham mice. As compared to cells from young mice, lin- cells from aged/sham mice expressed significantly higher mRNA levels for osteoblast differentiation and proliferation marker genes. These data thus demonstrate that, in mice, age-related loss of cortical bone in the appendicular skeleton, but not loss of trabecular bone in the spine, can be prevented by maintaining constant estrogen levels over life. The observed increase in osteoblastic differentiation and proliferation marker gene expression in progenitor bone marrow cells from aged as compared to young mice may represent a compensatory mechanism in response to ongoing bone loss.
PMCID: PMC3119867  PMID: 20499336
Aging; estrogen; bone; mice; ovariectomy
14.  Effect of an isoflavones-containing red clover preparation and alkaline supplementation on bone metabolism in ovariectomized rats 
The aim of this study was to test the combined effect of a quality-controlled red clover extract (RCE) standardized to contain 40% isoflavones by weight (genistein, daidzein, biochanin A, and formononetin present as hydrolyzed aglycones) together with a modified alkaline supplementation on bone metabolic and biomechanical parameters in an experimental model of surgically-induced menopause. Sprague–Dawley female rats were maintained under controlled standard conditions of light and fed with conventional food of standard calcium content and no alfalfa or soybean components. Rats were randomized into four groups: Group A represented normal rats (sham operated) while three other groups were ovariectomized (OVX) and fed for three months as follows: standard food (group B), 6 mg/kg/day food mixed with RCE (Group C), or given 6 mg/kg/day of RCE plus a modified alkaline supplementation (BP) through a nasogastric tube at a dose of 16 mg (group D). The animals were killed 90 days after surgery. As compared to group B, RCE or RCE + BP treatments brought about significantly higher level of estradiol and mitigated the weight loss of the uterus and improved maximum load of the femoral neck. Osteocalcin level showed an over 65% increase in group B but both RCE and RCE + BP treatments prevented such abnormality with a significantly better result in RCE + BP group which virtually normalized such parameter as well as urinary excretion of DPD. Group C and D reduced the over 20% loss of bone mineral density and bone mineral content/body weight ratio observed in untreated post-ovariectomy group. Untreated ovariectomy caused about 48% decrease of cancellous bone mass in the femoral neck while this abnormality was prevented at similar extent by both RCE and RCE + BP treatments. Ovariectomy determined an over 80% increase of bone alkaline phosphatase (BALP) level but both RCE and RCE + BP treatments significantly mitigated such variable. The BALP decrease yielded by the combined RCE + BP treatment was statistically lower than RCE alone. Taken together these data show that red clover preparation in dosages amenable to clinical practice do improve OVX-induced osteoporosis while a mild metabolic alkalosis might further synergize some therapeutic aspects.
PMCID: PMC2685230  PMID: 19503771
red clover; alkaline supplementation; osteoporosis; ovariectomy
15.  PPARα: A Master Regulator of Bilirubin Homeostasis 
PPAR Research  2014;2014:747014.
Hypolipidemic fibrates activate the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) α to modulate lipid oxidation and metabolism. The present study aimed at evaluating how 3 PPARα agonists, namely, fenofibrate, gemfibrozil, and Wy14,643, affect bilirubin synthesis and metabolism. Human umbilical vein epithelial cells (HUVEC) and coronary artery smooth muscle cells (CASMC) were cultured in the absence or presence of the 3 activators, and mRNA, protein, and/or activity levels of the bilirubin synthesizing heme oxygenase- (HO-) 1 and biliverdin reductase (BVR) enzymes were determined. Human hepatocytes (HH) and HepG2 cells sustained similar treatments, except that the expression of the bilirubin conjugating UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) 1A1 enzyme and multidrug resistance-associated protein (MRP) 2 transporter was analyzed. In HUVECs, gemfibrozil, fenofibrate, and Wy14,643 upregulated HO-1 mRNA expression without affecting BVR. Wy14,643 and fenofibrate also caused HO-1 protein accumulation, while gemfibrozil and fenofibrate favored the secretion of bilirubin in cell media. Similar positive regulations were also observed with the 3 PPARα ligands in CASMCs where HO-1 mRNA and protein levels were increased. In HH and HepG2 cells, both UGT1A1 and MRP2 transcripts were also accumulating. These observations indicate that PPARα ligands activate bilirubin synthesis in vascular cells and metabolism in liver cells. The clinical implications of these regulatory events are discussed.
PMCID: PMC4134828  PMID: 25147562
16.  Improvement of Femoral Bone Quality After Low-Magnitude, High-Frequency Mechanical Stimulation in the Ovariectomized Rat as an Osteopenia Model 
Calcified Tissue International  2010;88(1):33-40.
The treatment and prevention of osteoporosis involve great challenges. Nonpharmacological and supportive therapy procedures, sport, and physical exercises seem to prevent bone loss and improve bone mass. In the present study, we examined the effect of whole-body vertical vibration (WBVV) on femoral intertrochanteric bone quality in the rat osteoporosis model. Sixty female Sprague–Dawley rats, 3-month old, were ovariectomized (OVX) or sham-operated. After 3 months, each group was divided into two subgroups. In one of the subgroups, rats were treated with WBVV at 90 Hz (3.9 g) for 35 days; the second subgroup remained untreated. After killing the animals, biomechanical strength and trabecular bone architecture of the proximal region of femurs were analyzed. New cortical bone appositions and mineral density of femurs were additionally measured. Treatment with WBVV resulted in improved biomechanical properties. Maximal load and stiffness of the intertrochanteric region of femurs after WBVV were significantly enhanced. Maximal load and stiffness in treated OVX animals reached the levels observed in untreated sham rats. WBVV significantly improved all measured histomorphometric parameters in the trabecular area. Treated rats showed significantly improved mineral content in ashed femurs compared to untreated animals. A comparison of widths of fluorescence bands in cortical bone of subtrochanteric cross sections did not show any significant differences between the groups after WBVV. Low-magnitude, high-frequency mechanical stimulation improves bone strength in the proximal femur and may be a possible nonpharmacologic treatment option for postmenopausal osteoporosis.
PMCID: PMC3021189  PMID: 21052653
Osteoporosis; Whole-body vertical vibration; Rat femur; Mechanical stimulation
17.  Anti-inflammatory effect of antidiabetic thiazolidinediones prevents bone resorption rather than cartilage changes in experimental polyarthritis 
Rosiglitazone and pioglitazone are high-affinity peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-γ agonists with potent anti-diabetic properties and potential anti-inflammatory effects. We compared the ability of a range of oral doses of these thiazolidinediones, including those sufficient to restore insulin sensitization, to inhibit the pathogenesis of adjuvant-induced arthritis (AIA).
AIA was induced in Lewis rats by a subcutaneous injection of 1 mg of complete Freund's adjuvant. Rats were treated orally for 21 days with pioglitazone 3, 10 or 30 mg/kg/day, rosiglitazone 3 or 10 mg/kg/day, or with vehicle only. The time course of AIA was evaluated by biotelemetry to monitor body temperature and locomotor activity, by clinical score and plethysmographic measurement of hindpaw oedema. At necropsy, RT-PCR analysis was performed on synovium, liver and subcutaneous fat. Changes in cartilage were evaluated by histological examination of ankle joints, radiolabelled sulphate incorporation (proteoglycan synthesis), glycosaminoglycan content (proteoglycan turnover) and aggrecan expression in patellar cartilage. Whole-body bone mineral content was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry.
The highest doses of rosiglitazone (10 mg/kg/day) or pioglitazone (30 mg/kg/day) were required to reduce fever peaks associated with acute or chronic inflammation, respectively, and to decrease arthritis severity. At these doses, thiazolidinediones reduced synovitis and synovial expression of TNF-α, IL-1β and basic fibroblast growth factor without affecting neovascularization or the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor. Thiazolidinediones failed to prevent cartilage lesions and arthritis-induced inhibition of proteoglycan synthesis, aggrecan mRNA level or glycosaminoglycan content in patellar cartilage, but reduced bone erosions and inflammatory bone loss. A trend towards lower urinary levels of deoxipyridinolin was also noted in arthritic rats treated with thiazolidinediones. Rosiglitazone 10 mg/kg/day or pioglitazone 30 mg/kg/day increased the expression of PPAR-γ and adiponectin in adipose tissue, confirming that they were activating PPAR-γ in inflammatory conditions, although an increase in fat mass percentage was observed for the most anti-arthritic dose.
These data emphasize that higher dosages of thiazolidinediones are required for the treatment of arthritis than for restoring insulin sensitivity but that thiazolidinediones prevent inflammatory bone loss despite exposing animals to increased fatness possibly resulting from excessive activation of PPAR-γ.
PMCID: PMC2374462  PMID: 18199331
18.  Higher Doses of Bisphosphonates Further Improve Bone Mass, Architecture, and Strength but Not the Tissue Material Properties in Aged Rats 
Bone  2009;46(5):1267-1274.
We report the results of a series of experiments designed to determine the effects of ibandronate (Ibn) and risedronate (Ris) on a number of bone quality parameters in aged osteopenic rats to explain how bone material and bone mass may be affected by the dose of bisphosphonates (BP) and contribute to their anti-fracture efficacy.
Eighteen-month old female rats underwent either ovariectomy or sham surgery. The ovariectomized (OVX) groups were left untreated for 2 months to develop osteopenia. Treatments started at 20 months of age as follows: sham and OVX control (treated with saline), OVX+risedronate 30 and 90 (30 or 90 μg/kg/dose), and OVX+ibandronate 30 and 90 (30 or 90 μg/kg/dose). The treatments were given monthly for four months by subcutaneous injection. At sacrifice at 24 months of age the 4th lumbar vertebra was used for μCT scans (bone mass, architecture, and degree of mineralization of bone, DMB) and histomorphometry, and the 6th lumbar vertebra, tibia, and femur were collected for biomechanical testing to determine bone structural and material strength, cortical fracture toughness, and tissue elastic modulus. The compression testing of the vertebral bodies (LVB6) was simulated using finite-element analysis (FEA) to also estimate the bone structural stiffness.
Both Ibn and Ris dose-dependently increased bone mass and improved vertebral bone microarchitecture and mechanical properties compared to OVX control. Estimates of vertebral maximum stress from FEA were correlated with vertebral maximum load (r=0.5, p<0.001) and maximum stress (r=0.4, p<0.005) measured experimentally. Tibial bone bending modulus and cortical strength increased compared to OVX with both BP but no dose-dependent effect was observed. DMB and elastic modulus of trabecular bone were improved with Ibn30 compared to OVX but were not affected in other BP-treated groups. DMB of tibial cortical bone showed no change with BP treatments. The fracture toughness examined in midshaft femurs did not change with BP even with the higher doses. In summary, the anti fracture efficacy of BP is largely due to their preservation of bone mass and while the higher doses further improve the bone structural properties do not improve the localized bone material characteristics such as tissue strength, elastic modulus, and cortical toughness.
PMCID: PMC3003226  PMID: 19931661
bisphosphonate; bisphosphonate dose; structural properties; material properties; bone mineralization
19.  Labisia pumila regulates bone-related genes expressions in postmenopausal osteoporosis model 
Labisia Pumila var. alata (LPva) has shown potential as an alternative to estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) in prevention of estrogen-deficient osteoporosis. In earlier studies using postmenopausal model, LPva was able to reverse the ovariectomy-induced changes in biochemical markers, bone calcium, bone histomorphometric parameters and biomechanical strength. The mechanism behind these protective effects is unclear but LPva may have regulated factors that regulate bone remodeling. The aim of this study is to determine the bone-protective mechanism of LPva by measuring the expressions of several factors involved in bone formative and resorptive activities namely Osteoprotegerin (OPG), Receptor Activator of Nuclear Factor kappa-B Ligand (RANKL), Macrophage-Colony Stimulating Factor (MCSF) and Bone Morphogenetic Protein-2 (BMP-2).
Thirty-two female Wistar rats were randomly divided into four groups: Sham-operated (Sham), ovariectomized control (OVXC), ovariectomized with Labisia pumila var. alata (LPva) and ovariectomized with ERT (Premarin®) (ERT). The LPva and ERT were administered via daily oral gavages at doses of 17.5 mg/kg and 64.5 μg/kg, respectively. Following two months of treatment, the rats were euthanized and the gene expressions of BMP-2, OPG, RANKL and MCSF in the femoral bones were measured using a branch - DNA technique.
The RANKL gene expression was increased while the OPG and BMP-2 gene expressions were reduced in the OVXC group compared to the SHAM group. There were no significant changes in the MCSF gene expressions among the groups. Treatment with either LPva or ERT was able to prevent these ovariectomy-induced changes in the gene expressions in ovariectomized rats with similar efficacy.
LPva may protect bone against estrogen deficiency-induced changes by regulating the RANKL, OPG and BMP-2 gene expressions.
PMCID: PMC3847139  PMID: 24007208
Labisia pumila; Postmenopausal osteoporosis; Estrogen; OPG; BMP-2; RANKL; MCSF
20.  Royal Jelly Prevents Osteoporosis in Rats: Beneficial Effects in Ovariectomy Model and in Bone Tissue Culture Model 
Royal jelly (RJ) has been used worldwide for many years as medical products, health foods and cosmetics. Since RJ contains testosterone and has steroid hormone-type activities, we hypothesized that it may have beneficial effects on osteoporosis. We used both an ovariectomized rat model and a tissue culture model. Rats were divided into eight groups as follows: sham-operated (Sham), ovariectomized (OVX), OVX given 0.5% (w/w) raw RJ, OVX given 2.0% (w/w) RJ, OVX given 0.5% (w/w) protease-treated RJ (pRJ), OVX given 2.0% (w/w) pRJ, OVX given 17β-estradiol and OVX given its vehicle, respectively. The Ovariectomy decreased tibial bone mineral density (BMD) by 24%. Administration of 17β-estradiol to OVX rats recovered the tibial BMD decrease by 100%. Administration of 2.0% (w/w) RJ and 0.5–2.0% (w/w) pRJ to OVX rats recovered it by 85% or more. These results indicate that both RJ and pRJ are almost as effective as 17β-estradiol in preventing the development of bone loss induced by ovariectomy in rats. In tissue culture models, both RJ and pRJ increased calcium contents in femoral-diaphyseal and femoral-metaphyseal tissue cultures obtained from normal male rats. However, in a mouse marrow culture model, they neither inhibited the parathyroid hormone (PTH)-induced calcium loss nor affected the formation of osteoclast-like cells induced by PTH in mouse marrow culture system. Therefore, our results suggest that both RJ and pRJ may prevent osteoporosis by enhancing intestinal calcium absorption, but not by directly antagonizing the action of PTH.
PMCID: PMC1513150  PMID: 16951718
bone mineral density; bone tissue culture; ovariectomized rats; post-menopausal osteoporosis model; protease-treated RJ; royal jelly
21.  On the mechanism for PPAR agonists to enhance ABCA1 gene expression 
Atherosclerosis  2009;205(2):413-419.
Expression of ATP binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1), a major regulator of high density lipoprotein (HDL) biogenesis, is known to be up-regulated by the transcription factor liver X receptor (LXR) α, and expression is further enhanced by activation of the peroxisome proliferator activated receptors (PPARs). We investigated this complex regulatory network using specific PPAR agonists: four fibrates (fenofibrate, bezafibrate, gemfibrozil and LY518674), a PPAR δ agonist (GW501516) and a PPAR γ agonist (pioglitazone). All of these compounds increased the expression of LXRs, PPARs and ABCA1 mRNAs, and associated apoA-I-mediated lipid release in THP-1 macrophage, WI38 fibroblast and mouse fibroblast. When mouse fibroblasts lacking expression of PPAR α were examined, the effects of fenofibrate and LY518674 were markedly diminished while induction by other ligands were retained. The PPAR α promoter was activated by all of these compounds in an LXR α-dependent manner, and partially in a PPAR α-dependent manner, in mouse fibroblast. The LXR responsive element (LXRE)-luciferase activity was enhanced by all the compounds in an LXR α-dependent manner in mouse fibroblast. This activation was exclusively PPAR α-dependent by fenofibrate and LY518674, but nonexclusively by the others. We conclude that PPARs and LXRs are involved in the regulation of ABCA1 expression and HDL biogenesis in a cooperative signal transduction pathway.
PMCID: PMC2790138  PMID: 19201410
ABCA1; PPAR; LXR; ABCA1; HDL; Cholesterol
22.  The effects of alpha-tocopherol supplementation on fracture healing in a postmenopausal osteoporotic rat model 
Clinics  2012;67(9):1077-1085.
Osteoporosis increases the risk of bone fractures and may impair fracture healing. The aim of this study was to investigate whether alpha-tocopherol can improve the late-phase fracture healing of osteoporotic bones in ovariectomized rats.
In total, 24 female Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into three groups. The first group was sham-operated, and the other two groups were ovariectomized. After two months, the right femora of the rats were fractured under anesthesia and internally repaired with K-wires. The sham-operated and ovariectomized control rat groups were administered olive oil (a vehicle), whereas 60 mg/kg of alpha-tocopherol was administered via oral gavage to the alpha-tocopherol group for six days per week over the course of 8 weeks. The rats were sacrificed, and the femora were dissected out. Computed tomography scans and X-rays were performed to assess fracture healing and callus staging, followed by the assessment of callus strengths through the biomechanical testing of the bones.
Significantly higher callus volume and callus staging were observed in the ovariectomized control group compared with the sham-operated and alpha-tocopherol groups. The ovariectomized control group also had significantly lower fracture healing scores than the sham-operated group. There were no differences between the alpha-tocopherol and sham-operated groups with respect to the above parameters. The healed femora of the ovariectomized control group demonstrated significantly lower load and strain parameters than the healed femora of the sham-operated group. Alpha-tocopherol supplementation was not able to restore these biomechanical properties.
Alpha-tocopherol supplementation appeared to promote bone fracture healing in osteoporotic rats but failed to restore the strength of the fractured bone.
PMCID: PMC3438250  PMID: 23018307
Bone; Fracture; Osteoporosis; Vitamin E; Alpha-tocopherol
23.  Effect of the combination of metformin and fenofibrate on glucose homeostasis in diabetic Goto-Kakizaki rats 
Metformin has been reported to increase the expression of the glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor in pancreatic beta cells in a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-α-dependent manner. We investigated whether a PPARα agonist, fenofibrate, exhibits an additive or synergistic effect on glucose metabolism, independent of its lipid-lowering effect, when added to metformin. Non-obese diabetic Goto-Kakizaki (GK) rats were divided into four groups and treated for 28 days with metformin, fenofibrate, metformin plus fenofibrate or vehicle. The random blood glucose levels, body weights, food intake and serum lipid profiles were not significantly different among the groups. After 4 weeks, metformin, but not fenofibrate, markedly reduced the blood glucose levels during oral glucose tolerance tests, and this effect was attenuated by adding fenofibrate. Metformin increased the expression of the GLP-1 receptor in pancreatic islets, whereas fenofibrate did not. During the intraperitoneal glucose tolerance tests with the injection of a GLP-1 analog, metformin and/or fenofibrate did not alter the insulin secretory responses. In conclusion, fenofibrate did not confer any beneficial effect on glucose homeostasis but reduced metformin's glucose-lowering activity in GK rats, thus discouraging the addition of fenofibrate to metformin to improve glycemic control.
PMCID: PMC3731660  PMID: 23827952
fenofibrate; glucagon-like peptide-1; Goto-Kakizaki rats; metformin; peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha
24.  Protective effects of Tualang honey on bone structure in experimental postmenopausal rats 
Clinics  2012;67(7):779-784.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of Tualang honey on trabecular structure and compare these effects with those of calcium supplementation in ovariectomized rats.
Forty female, Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into five groups (n = 8): four controls and one test arm. The control arm comprised a baseline control, sham-operated control, ovariectomized control, and ovariectomized calcium-treated rats (receiving 1% calcium in drinking water ad libitum). The test arm was composed of ovariectomized, Tualang honey-treated rats (received 0.2 g/kg body weight of Tualang honey). Both the sham-operated control and ovariectomized control groups received vehicle treatment (deionized water), and the baseline control group was sacrificed without treatment.
All rats were orally gavaged daily for six weeks after day one post-surgery. The bone structural analysis of rats in the test arm group showed a significant increase in the bone volume per tissue volume (BV/TV), trabecular thickness (Tb.Th) and trabecular number (Tb.N) and a significant decrease in inter-trabecular space (Tb.Sp) compared with the ovariectomized control group. The trabecular thickness (Tb.Th) in the test arm group was significantly higher compared with the ovariectomized-calcium treated group, and the inter-trabecular space (Tb.Sp) in the test arm group was significantly narrower compared with the ovariectomized-calcium treated group.
In conclusion, ovariectomized rats that received Tualang honey showed more improvements in trabecular bone structure than the rats that received calcium.
PMCID: PMC3400169  PMID: 22892923
Tualang honey; Ovariectomy; Osteoporosis; Trabecular; Structural
25.  Effect of combined treatment with alendronate and calcitriol on femoral neck strength in osteopenic rats 
Hip fracture is associated with pronounced morbidity and excess mortality in elderly women with postmenopausal osteoporosis. Many drugs have been developed to treat osteoporosis and to reduce the risk of osteoporotic fractures. We investigated the effects of combined alendronate and vitamin D3 treatment on bone mass and fracture load at the femoral neck in ovariectomized (OVX) rats, and evaluated the relationship between bone mass parameters and femoral neck strength.
Thirty 12-week-old female rats underwent either a sham-operation (n = 6) or OVX (n = 24). Twenty weeks later, OVX rats were further divided into four groups and received daily doses of either saline alone, 0.1 mg/kg alendronate, 0.1 μg/kg calcitriol, or a combination of both two drugs by continuous infusion via Alzet mini-osmotic pumps. The sham-control group received saline alone. After 12 weeks of treatment, femoral necks were examined using peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) densitometry and mechanical testing.
Saline-treated OVX rats showed significant decreases in total bone mineral content (BMC) (by 28.1%), total bone mineral density (BMD) (by 9.5%), cortical BMC (by 26.3%), cancellous BMC (by 66.3%), cancellous BMD (by 29.0%) and total cross-sectional bone area (by 30.4%) compared with the sham-control group. The combined alendronate and calcitriol treatments improved bone loss owing to estrogen deficiency. On mechanical testing, although OVX significantly reduced bone strength of the femoral neck (by 29.3%) compared with the sham-control group, only the combined treatment significantly improved the fracture load at the femoral neck in OVX rats to the level of the sham-controls. The correlation of total BMC to fracture load was significant, but that of total BMD was not.
Our results showed that the combined treatment with alendronate and calcitriol significantly improved bone fragility of the femoral neck in OVX osteopenic rats.
PMCID: PMC2631529  PMID: 19091077

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