Recent studies suggested that Eurycoma longifolia, a herbal plant, may have the potential to treat osteoporosis in elderly male. This study aimed to determine the effects of Eurycoma longifolia supplementation on the trabecular bone microarchitecture of orchidectomised rats (androgen-deficient osteoporosis model). Forty-eight-aged (10–12 months old) Sprague Dawley rats were divided into six groups of sham-operated (SHAM), orchidectomised control (ORX), orchidectomised + 7 mg/rat testosterone enanthate (TEN) and orchidectomised + Eurycoma longifolia 30 mg/kg (EL30), orchidectomised + Eurycoma longifolia 60 mg/kg (EL60), orchidectomised + Eurycoma longifolia 90 mg/kg (EL90). Rats were euthanized following six weeks of treatment. The left femora were used to measure the trabecular bone microarchitecture using micro-CT. Orchidectomy significantly decreased connectivity density, trabecular bone volume, and trabecular number compared to the SHAM group. Testosterone replacement reversed all the orchidectomy-induced changes in the micro-CT parameters. EL at 30 and 60 mg/kg rat worsened the trabecular bone connectivity density and trabecular separation parameters of orchidectomised rats. EL at 90 mg/kg rat preserved the bone volume. High dose of EL (90 mg/kg) may have potential in preserving the bone microarchitecture of orchidectomised rats, but lower doses may further worsen the osteoporotic changes.
Testosterone replacement is the choice of treatment in androgen-deficient osteoporosis. However, long-term use of testosterone is potentially carcinogenic. Eurycoma longifolia (EL) has been reported to enhance testosterone level and prevent bone calcium loss but there is a paucity of research regarding its effect on the bone structural parameters. This study was conducted to explore the bone structural changes following EL treatment in normal and androgen-deficient osteoporosis rat model. Thirty-six male Sprague-Dawley rats aged 12 months were divided into normal control, normal rat supplemented with EL, sham-operated, orchidectomised-control, orchidectomised with testosterone replacement, and orchidectomised with EL supplementation groups. Testosterone serum was measured both before and after the completion of the treatment. After 6 weeks of the treatment, the femora were processed for bone histomorphometry. Testosterone replacement was able to raise the testosterone level and restore the bone volume of orchidectomised rats. EL supplementation failed to emulate both these testosterone actions. The inability of EL to do so may be related to the absence of testes in the androgen deficient osteoporosis model for EL to stimulate testosterone production.
Androgen-deficient osteoporosis in men is treated with testosterone therapy, which is associated with side effects. Eurycoma longifolia (EL) is known to possess androgenic properties and has been reported to protect bone from androgen-deficient osteoporosis in experimental animal models. The present study aimed to determine the effectiveness of combination therapy of EL and testosterone (T) in treating androgen-deficient osteoporosis. Forty male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into: sham-operated (SHAM), orchidectomized-control (ORX), orchidectomized with testosterone (ORX + T), orchidectomized with EL (ORX + EL), and orchidectomized with combined T and EL therapy (ORX + T + EL). EL was administered via oral gavages daily at the dose of 15 mg/kg. T was injected intramuscularly at 8 mg/kg and 4 mg/kg for the ORX + T and ORX + T + EL groups, respectively. Following 6 weeks of treatment, the osteocalcin levels of ORX + T and ORX + T + EL groups were significantly lower than the SHAM group (P < 0.05). The posttreatment CTX levels of ORX + T and ORX + T + EL groups were significantly lower than their pretreatment levels (P < 0.05). Biomechanically, the strain parameter of the ORX + T + EL group was significantly higher than the ORX group (P < 0.05). Thus, the combination therapy of EL and low-dose T has potential for treatment of androgen-deficient osteoporosis. The lower T dose is beneficial in reducing the sideeffects of testosterone therapy.
Osteoporosis in elderly men is now becoming an alarming health issue due to its relation with a higher mortality rate compared to osteoporosis in women. Androgen deficiency (hypogonadism) is one of the major factors of male osteoporosis and it can be treated with testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). However, one medicinal plant, Eurycoma longifolia Jack (EL), can be used as an alternative treatment to prevent and treat male osteoporosis without causing the side effects associated with TRT. EL exerts proandrogenic effects that enhance testosterone level, as well as stimulate osteoblast proliferation and osteoclast apoptosis. This will maintain bone remodelling activity and reduce bone loss. Phytochemical components of EL may also prevent osteoporosis via its antioxidative property. Hence, EL has the potential as a complementary treatment for male osteoporosis.
Management of hypogonadism-induced osteoporosis in elderly men is still a challenge. We investigated the short-term effects of parathyroid hormone (PTH) treatments on strength, micro-architecture, and mineral density of trochanteric region of orchiectomized rat femur.
Eight-month-old male Sprague–Dawley rats (n = 44) were divided into two groups: (1) orchiectomized (ORX) and (2) sham group. Twelve weeks after orchiectomy, half of the orchiectomized animals were treated with daily subcutaneously injected PTH (0.040 mg/kg/BW) (ORX-PTH) for 5 weeks. The other half remained untreated (ORX). The sham-operated group was divided and treated in the same way (sham, sham-PTH). After 5 weeks, both femurs were excised for biomechanical and histomorphometric analysis, trabecular measurements, mineral content assessment, and immunofluorescence analysis.
The femoral trochanteric strength after PTH treatment was enhanced in the breaking test (ORX-Fmax = 158.7 N vs. ORX + PTH-Fmax = 202 N). Stiffness of treated ORX animals reached nearly the levels observed in untreated sham rats. PTH therapy improved the trabecular connectivity, width, and area (ORX-Tb.Ar = 47.79% vs. ORX + PTH-Tb.Ar = 68.47%, P < 0.05) in the proximal femur. The treated rats showed significantly improved mineral content in ashed femurs (ORX-mineral content = 43.73% vs. ORX + PTH-mineral content = 49.49%) when compared to the untreated animals. A comparison of widths of fluorescence bands in cortical bone of the subtrochanteric cross-sections showed a significant increase in oppositions after the PTH therapy.
Our finding supports the hypothesis that PTH therapy seems to be a rational therapy in patients with hypogonadism induced bone loss and improves the bone strength of trochanteric region of rat femur.
Hypogonadism; Osteoporosis; Parathyroid hormone; Trochanteric region
There is little data concerning the ability of Eurycoma longifolia Jack (EL) to reverse the inhibitory effects of estrogen on testosterone production and spermatogenesis. The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of EL on testicular histology and sperm count in estrogen-treated male rats.
Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats weighing 200–250 g were divided into four groups of six rats each. Group A (control) was given solvent in the same manner as the treated groups were given EL. Group B was treated with EL (8 mg/kg body weight) orally. Group C was treated with estradiol (E2) (intramuscular dose of 500 μg/kg body weight), and group D received a combined treatment of oral EL and intramuscular E2. After fourteen consecutive days of treatment, rats from all groups were sacrificed and subjected to spermatogenic and epididymal sperm cell counts.
The spermatogenic cell count in the E2-treated group was significantly decreased as compared to the control (p < 0.05) and EL+E2-treated groups (p < 0.05). A similar finding was found for the epididymal sperm count; the E2-treated group had a significant decrease in the count compared to the control (p < 0.05) and EL+E2-treated groups (p < 0.05). Rats that were treated with EL alone exhibited significantly higher sperm counts and sperm motility when compared to the control group (p < 0.05).
EL extract acts as a potential agent for reversing the effects of estrogen by increasing spermatogenesis and sperm counts in rats after fourteen consecutive days of treatment.
Eurycoma longifolia Jack; Estrogen; Testis; Spermatogenesis; Anatomy; Histology
Alendronate (ALN) is the most common form of bisphosphonates used for the treatment of osteoporosis. Osteoprotegerin (OPG) has also been shown to reduce osteoporotic changes in both humans and experimental animals after systemic administration. The aim of this current study was to test if the anti-resorption effects of ALN may be enhanced when used in combination with OPG.
To investigate the effects of ALN, OPG or combined on bone mass and bone mechanical properties in ovariectomized (OVX) rats.
OVX rats were treated with ALN, OPG-Fc, or OPG-Fc and ALN. Biochemical markers, trabecular bone mass, biomechanics, histomorphometry and RANKL expression in the bone tissues were examined following the treatments.
The treatment of ALN, OPG-Fc and ALN+OPG-Fc all prevented bone loss in the OVX-rats, there was no statistical difference among the three treatment groups in terms of vertebrae BMD, mineralizing surfaces, mineral apposition rate, BFR/BS. The ALN+OPG-Fc treatment group had significantly increased the mechanical strength of lumber vertebral bodies and femoral shafts when compared to the ALN and OPG-Fc treatment groups. The RANKL protein expression in the vertebral bones was significantly decreased in the ALN and ALN+OPG-Fc treatment groups, suggesting the combined use of OPG-Fc and ALN might have amplified inhibition of bone resorption through inhibiting RANKL-dependent osteoclastogenesis.
The combined use of OPG-Fc and ALN may be a new treatment strategy for reversing bone loss and restoring bone quality in osteoprotic disorders.
Osteoprotegerin; Alendronate; RANKL; Osteoporosis; Ovariectomy
Epidemiological studies have linked low dietary magnesium (Mg) to low bone mineral density and osteoporosis. Mg deficiency in animal models has demonstrated a reduction in bone mass and increase in skeletal fragility. One major mechanism appears to be an increase in osteoclast number and bone resorption. The final pathway of osteoclastogenesis involves three constituents of a cytokine system: receptor activator of nuclear factor kB ligand (RANKL); its receptor, receptor activator of nuclear factor kB (RANK); and its soluble decoy receptor, osteoprotegerin (OPG). The relative presence of RANKL and OPG dictates osteoclastogenesis. The objective of this study was to assess the presence of RANKL and OPG in rats on a low Mg diet.
RANKL and OPG were assessed by immunocytochemistry staining in the tibia for up to 6 months in control rats on regular Mg intake (0.5 g/kg) and experimental rats on reduction of dietary Mg (.04%, 25% and 50% of this Nutrient Requirement).
At all dietary Mg intakes, alteration in the presence of immunocytochemical staining of RANKL and OPG was observed. In general, OPG was decreased and RANKL increased, reflecting an alteration in the RANKL/OPG ratio toward increased osteoclastogenesis.
We have, for the first time demonstrated that a reduction in dietary Mg in the rat alters the presence of RANKL and OPG and may explain the increase in osteoclast number and decrease in bone mass in this animal model. As some of these dietary intake reductions in terms of the RDA are present in a large segment of or population, Mg deficiency may be another risk factor for osteoporosis.
Osteoprotegerin (OPG), a member of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor superfamily, contributes determinatively to the bone remodeling as well as to the pathogenetic mechanism of bone malignancies and disorders of mineral metabolism. There is additional evidence that OPG can promote cell survival by inhibiting TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL)-induced apoptosis. A number of recent in vitro, in vivo and clinical studies have defined the role of the RANK/RANKL/OPG pathway in skeletal and vascular diseases. These works were the milestone of the deep understanding of the mechanism of OPG. This review provides an overview of the potential innovative therapeutic strategies of OPG in metastatic breast and prostate carcinoma, multiple myeloma, postmenopausal osteoporosis, glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Special reference is given to the increasing evidence that RANKL and OPG may link the skeletal with the vascular system.
The aim of this study was to evaluate effects of aqueous extract from Cortex acanthopanacis (CAE) on osteoporosis rats induced by ovariectomy (OVX) using aqueous extract from Folium Epimedii (FEE) as positive control agent. Three-month-old female rats that underwent OVX were treated with CAE. After 12 weeks, bone mineral density (BMD) and indices of bone histomorphometry of tibia were measured. Levels of protein and mRNA expression of osteoprotegerin (OPG) and receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand (RANKL) in tibia were evaluated. In addition, the serum concentrations of osteocalcin (OC), interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β), interleukin-6 (IL-6), calcitonin (CT), and parathyroid hormone (PTH) were determined. Administration of CAE significantly prevented OVX-induced rats from gain of the body weight. Treatment with CAE increased bone mass remarkably and showed a significant inhibitory effect on bone resorption by downregulating significantly the expression of RANKL in tibia of OVX rats. Meanwhile, treatment of CAE significantly reduced serum level of IL-1β and increased level of CT in OVX rats. This suggests that CAE has the potential to be used as an alternative therapeutic agent for postmenopausal osteoporosis.
Popularly known as “the silent disease” since early symptoms are usually absent, osteoporosis causes progressive bone loss, which renders the bones susceptible to fractures. Bone fracture healing is a complex process consisting of four overlapping phases—hematoma formation, inflammation, repair, and remodeling. The traditional use of natural products in bone fractures means that phytochemicals can be developed as potential therapy for reducing fracture healing period. Located closely near the equator, Malaysia has one of the world's largest rainforests, which are homes to exotic herbs and medicinal plants. Eurycoma longifolia (Tongkat Ali), Labisia pumila (Kacip Fatimah), and Piper sarmentosum (Kaduk) are some examples of the popular ethnic herbs, which have been used in the Malay traditional medicine. This paper focuses on the use of natural products for treating fracture as a result of osteoporosis and expediting its healing.
Background and aims: A substantial proportion of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) develops osteopenia and osteoporosis in the course of disease. Recent data from a mouse model of colitis suggest that the receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa B (RANKL)/osteoprotegerin (OPG) system may be responsible for bone loss.
Methods: We investigated the activation state of the RANKL/OPG system and its association with bone loss in human IBD. Plasma levels of OPG and RANKL were correlated with bone mineral density and current IBD therapy. Colonic secretion of OPG and RANKL and cell types responsible for such secretion were determined.
Results: OPG plasma levels were elevated 2.4-fold in Crohn’s disease (CD) and 1.9-fold in ulcerative colitis (UC) whereas soluble RANKL (sRANKL) levels were not significantly different in IBD patients compared with healthy controls. High levels of OPG were released from colonic explant cultures (CEC) derived from inflamed IBD specimens, and colonic macrophages and dendritic cells costained for OPG. sRANKL levels from CEC were low both in IBD patients and healthy controls. Interestingly, increased expression of RANKL was mainly confined to cells in the lamina muscularis. A significant negative correlation was found between OPG plasma levels and femoral neck/lumbar spine bone mineral density.
Conclusions: We have demonstrated that IBD is associated with alterations in the RANKL/OPG system. Applying results from a murine model of colitis associated bone loss, the constellation of OPG and sRANKL regulation observed in our study raises the possibility that RANKL/OPG may contribute to the development of bone loss in IBD.
Crohn’s disease; ulcerative colitis; inflammatory bowel disease; osteoprotegerin; receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa B; bone mineral density
Aggressive fibromatosis (desmoid tumour) is a locally invasive tumour caused by mutations resulting in β-catenin protein stabilisation. Apc1638N mice are predisposed to developing aggressive fibromatosis tumours, and male mice develop greater numbers of tumours than female mice, suggesting a role for androgens in this tumour type.
Human aggressive fibromatosis tumours were examined for the expression of the androgen receptor, and primary human tumour cell cultures were treated with testosterone. Orchidectomised Apc1638N mice were investigated for the development of tumours, and were treated with testosterone to study the effect of tumour formation and the level of β-catenin.
Androgen receptors are universally expressed in human aggressive fibromatosis tumours. Testosterone increased the proliferation rate and β-catenin protein level in a dose-dependent manner in human aggressive fibromatosis tumours. Orchiectomy reduced the number and size of tumours that formed in male Apc1638N mice to a similar level as observed in female mice. Testosterone treatment increased the number of tumours that formed in orchidectomised male mice, and resulted in a marked increase in β-catenin protein levels.
Testosterone regulates β-catenin protein level and proliferation rate in this mesenchymal tumour. This work identifies the therapeutic use of testosterone blockade in aggressive fibromatosis as an area for further investigation.
aggressive fibromatosis; testosterone; β-catenin; mouse model; APC
Postmenopausal osteoporosis may modulate bone response to wear debris. In this article, we evaluate the influence of oestrogen deficiency on experimental particle-induced osteolysis.
Polyethylene (PE) particles were implanted onto the calvaria of normal controls, sham-ovariectomized (OVX), OVX mice and OVX mice supplemented with oestrogen (OVX+E). After 14 days, seven skulls per group were analyzed using a high-resolution micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) and histomorphometry, and for tartrate-specific alkaline phosphatase. Five calvariae per group were cultured for the assay of IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α and receptor activator of the nuclear factor κB (RANKL) secretion using quantitative ELISA. Serum IL-6 concentrations were obtained. The expression of RANKL and osteoprotegerin (OPG) mRNA were evaluated using real-time PCR.
As assessed by μCT and by histomorphometry, PE particles induced extensive bone resorption and an intense inflammatory reaction in normal controls, sham-OVX and OVX+E mice, but not in the OVX mice group. In normal controls, sham-OVX and OVX+E mice, PE particles induced an increase in serum IL-6, in TNF-α and RANKL local concentrations, and resulted in a significant increase in RANKL/OPG messenger RNA (mRNA) ratio. Conversely, these parameters remained unchanged in OVX mice after PE implantation.
Oestrogen privation in the osteolysis murine model ultimately attenuated osteolytic response to PE particles, suggesting a protective effect. This paradoxical phenomenon was associated with a down-regulation of pro-resorptive cytokines. It is hypothesized that excessive inflammatory response was controlled, illustrated by the absence of increase of serum IL-6 in OVX mice after PE implantation.
Nitric oxide (NO), produced by endothelial cells, is a signaling molecule synthesized from L-arginine by nitric oxide synthases (NOS). NO is known to reduce the ratio of Receptor Activator of Nuclear factor KappaB (RANKL)/Osteoprotegerin (OPG), leading to decreased osteoclastogenesis and a reduction in bone resorption. Endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS or NOS3) is the predominant constitutive isoform of nitric NOS within bone. Recently, a NOS3 polymorphism, Glu298Asp, previously implicated in osteoporosis, failed to demonstrate an association with bone mineral density (BMD), although there was some indication of an association with selected geometry indices. Since a single polymorphism does not capture all of the potential variants in a given gene, we investigated a broader coverage of the NOS3 gene with bone density/ultrasound and geometry indices in a sample of unrelated individuals from the Framingham Offspring Study. Our results indicated that the Glu298Asp polymorphism was not associated with BMD but suggested some haplotype-based associations in the linkage disequilibrium (LD) region that included the Glu298Asp polymorphism with several geometry indices. Although our findings exhibited several associations with selected bone density/ultrasound and geometry indices, the nominally significant associations are regarded as primarily hypothesis generating and suggest that replication in other samples is needed. Thus, NOS3 genetic variation does not appear to be a major contributor to adult bone density/ultrasound and geometry in our sample.
Nitric oxide synthase; Bone density/ultrasound; Bone geometry; Genetic polymorphisms; Osteoporosis
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients have lower bone mineral density and increased fracture risk when compared with healthy individuals, due to distinct factors and mechanisms. Bone remodeling is a tightly orchestrated process dependent on several factors, including the balance between receptor activator of nuclear factor κB ligand (RANKL) and osteoprotegerin (OPG).
Our aim was to assess serum OPG and soluble RANKL (sRANKL) levels as well as sRANKL/OPG ratio in female SLE patients and compare it with female controls.
We have evaluated 103 SLE patients and 114 healthy controls, all Caucasian females. All participants underwent a clinical and laboratory evaluation. sRANKL and OPG were quantified in serum by ELISA based methods. sRANKL, OPG and sRANKL/OPG ratio levels were compared between SLE patients and age, sex and race matched healthy controls. For SLE patients, a multivariate analysis was performed, to find the possible predictors of the changes in sRANKL, OPG and sRANKL/OPG ratio levels.
Although sRANKL levels did not differ between the two groups, serum OPG was lower in SLE patients (P < 0.001). This led to an increased sRANKL/OPG ratio (P = 0.010) in the patients' group.
The multivariate analysis was performed considering age and other clinical and laboratorial potential confounders for these variations in the SLE patients group. We have showed that age (P = 0.001) and levels of anti-Sm antibodies (P = 0.016) were independent predictors of sRANKL/OPG ratio variations in SLE patients. No relationship with therapy or disease activity measured by SLEDAI2K was found.
These results are suggestive of increased osteoclastic stimuli driven by the SLE disease mechanisms.
sRANKL; osteoprotegerin; systemic lupus erythematosus; osteoclastogenesis
The pathway of the receptor activator of the nuclear factor κB ligand (RANKL), RANK and osteoprotegerin (OPG) plays a central role in coupling bone formation and resorption during normal bone turnover and in a wide spectrum of diseases characterized by disturbed bone remodeling, increased bone resorption and bone destruction (osteoporosis, Paget’s disease of bone, rheumatoid arthritis [RA], metastatic bone disease). Clinical trials indicate that denosumab, a RANKL-specific recombinant humanized monoclonal antibody, is effective in suppressing bone resorption, resulting in increase in bone mineral density (BMD) in post-menopausal women with low BMD, and has the potential to prevent progression of erosions in RA and of skeletal-related events in metastatic bone disease. The effects on fracture reduction in postmenopausal osteoporosis are awaited from the recently finished FREEDOM study. In clinical trials with denosumab, overall adverse events were similar to placebo or comparators, indicating a favorable safety profile in these diseases, which until now have been available up to 4 years, but data on long-term safety will be needed.
denosumab; postmenopausal osteoporosis; bone mineral density
The present study examined whether a transient thyroid hormone (T4) deficit during infancy in male monkeys would compromise the arrest of luteinising hormone (LH) secretion during the infant–juvenile transition, and/or interfere with the pubertal resurgence of LH. Animals were orchidectomised and thyroidectomised (n = 3; Tx) or sham Tx (n = 3) within 5 days of birth. T4 replacement was initiated in two Tx monkeys at age 19 weeks to reestablish a euthyroid condition. Blood samples were drawn weekly for hormone assay. Body weight, crown–rump length, and bone age were assessed throughout the study. Within a week of Tx, plasma T4 declined to undetectable levels and, by 6–8 weeks of age, signs of hypothyroidism were evident. Transient hypothyroidism during infancy failed to prevent either arrest of LH secretion during the infant–juvenile transition or the pubertal resurgence of LH secretion, both of which occurred at similar ages to sham Tx animals. Although body weight exhibited complete catch-up with T4 replacement, crown–rump length and bone age did not. Thus, bone age at the time of the pubertal LH resurgence in Tx animals was less advanced than that in shams. Although Tx did not influence qualitatively the pattern of gonadotrophin secretion, LH levels during infancy and after pubertal LH resurgence were elevated in Tx monkeys. This was not associated with changes in LH pulse frequency and amplitude, but half-life (53 versus 65 min) of the slow second phase of LH clearance was greater in Tx animals. These results indicate that hypothalamic mechanisms dictating the pattern of gonadotrophin-releasing hormone release from birth to puberty are not dependent on T4 action during infancy, and fail to support the notion that onset of puberty is causally coupled to skeletal maturation. They also indicate that LH renal clearance mechanisms may be programmed in a T4 dependent manner during infancy.
infancy; thyroid; primates; growth; puberty
Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is an inflammatory joint disease characterized by extensive bone resorption. The mechanisms underlying this matrix loss have not been elucidated. We report here that blood samples from PsA patients, particularly those with bone erosions visible on plain radiographs, exhibit a marked increase in osteoclast precursors (OCPs) compared with those from healthy controls. Moreover, PsA PBMCs readily formed osteoclasts in vitro without exogenous receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) or MCSF. Both osteoprotegerin (OPG) and anti-TNF antibodies inhibited osteoclast formation. Additionally, cultured PsA PBMCs spontaneously secreted higher levels of TNF-α than did healthy controls. In vivo, OCP frequency declined substantially in PsA patients following treatment with anti-TNF agents. Immunohistochemical analysis of subchondral bone and synovium revealed RANK-positive perivascular mononuclear cells and osteoclasts in PsA specimens. RANKL expression was dramatically upregulated in the synovial lining layer, while OPG immunostaining was restricted to the endothelium. These results suggest a model for understanding the pathogenesis of aggressive bone erosions in PsA. OCPs arise from TNF-α–activated PBMCs that migrate to the inflamed synovium and subchondral bone, where they are exposed to unopposed RANKL and TNF-α. This leads to osteoclastogenesis at the erosion front and in subchondral bone, resulting in a bidirectional assault on psoriatic bone.
Prevention of alveolar bone destruction is a clinical challenge in periodontal disease treatment. The receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappa B ligand (RANKL) inhibitor osteoprotegerin (OPG) inhibits osteoclastogenesis and suppresses bone resorption.
To study the effects of RANKL inhibition on alveolar bone loss, an experimental ligature-induced model of periodontitis was used. A total of 32 rats were administered human OPG-Fc fusion protein (10 mg/kg) or vehicle by subcutaneous delivery twice weekly for 6 weeks. Negative or positive controls received no treatment or disease through vehicle delivery, respectively. Biopsies were harvested after 3 and 6 weeks, and mandibulae were evaluated by microcomputed tomography (μCT) and histology. Serum levels of human OPG-Fc and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase-5b (TRAP-5b) were measured throughout the study by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Statistical analyses included analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Tukey tests.
Human OPG-Fc was detected in the sera of OPG-Fc–treated animals by 3 days and throughout the study. Serum TRAP-5b was sharply decreased by OPG-Fc treatment soon after OPG-Fc delivery and remained low for the observation period. Significant preservation of alveolar bone volume was observed among OPG-Fc–treated animals compared to the controls at weeks 3 and 6 (P <0.05). Descriptive histology revealed that OPG-Fc significantly suppressed osteoclast surface area at the alveolar crest.
Systemic delivery of OPG-Fc inhibits alveolar bone resorption in experimental periodontitis, suggesting that RANKL inhibition may represent an important therapeutic strategy for the prevention of progressive alveolar bone loss.
Bone resorption; osteoprotegerin; periodontal disease; receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappa B ligand; therapy
In the complex system of bone remodeling, the receptor activator of nuclear factor κB ligand (RANKL)/osteoprotegerin (OPG) pathway is the coupling factor between bone formation and bone resorption. RANKL binds to the RANK receptor of pre-osteoclasts and mature osteoclasts and stimulates their activation and differentiation. The production of RANKL/OPG by osteoblasts is influenced by hormones, growth factors and cytokines, which each have a different effect on the production of RANKL and OPG. Ultimately, the balance between RANKL and OPG determines the degree of proliferation and activity of the osteoclasts. In rheumatoid arthritis (RA), bone erosions are the result of osteoclastic bone resorption at the sites of synovitis, where RANKL expression is also found. Furthermore, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) bone edema in RA indicates the presence of active inflammation within bone and the presence of osteitis, which is also associated with the expression of RANKL. Bone loss has been documented in the cortical and trabecular bone in the joints of the hand of RA patients. Both synovitis and periarticular bone involvement (osteitis and bone loss) are essential components of RA: they occur early in the disease and both are predictive for the occurrence and progression of bone damage. RANKL knockout mice and mice treated with OPG did not develop focal bone loss, in spite of persistent joint inflammation. Inhibition of osteoclasts by denosumab, a humanized antibody that selectively binds RANKL, has revealed in patients with RA that the occurrence of erosions and periarticular bone loss can be halted, however without affecting synovial inflammation. This disconnect between inflammation and bone destruction opens new ways to separately focus treatment on inflammation and osteoclastogenesis for preventing and/or minimizing the connection between joints and subchondral bone and bone marrow.
RANK ligand; osteoprotegerin; rheumatoid arthritis; bone erosions; osteitis; bone loss
This study investigated the effects of α-tocopherol and palm oil tocotrienol supplementations on bone fracture healing in postmenopausal osteoporosis rats. 32 female Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into four groups. The first group was sham operated (SO), while the others were ovariectomised. After 2 months, the right femora were fractured under anesthesia and fixed with K-wire. The SO and ovariectomised-control rats (OVXC) were given olive oil (vehicle), while both the alpha-tocopherol (ATF) and tocotrienol-enriched fraction (TEF) groups were given alpha-tocopherol and tocotrienol-enriched fraction, respectively, at the dose of 60 mg/kg via oral gavages 6 days per week for 8 weeks. The rats were then euthanized and the femora dissected out for bone biomechanical testing to assess their strength. The callous of the TEF group had significantly higher stress parameter than the SO and OVXC groups. Only the SO group showed significantly higher strain parameter compared to the other treatment groups. The load parameter of the OVXC and ATF groups was significantly lower than the SO group. There was no significant difference in the Young's modulus between the groups. In conclusion, tocotrienol is better than α-tocopherol in improving the biomechanical properties of the fracture callous in postmenopausal osteoporosis rat model.
Femoral neck compression strength index (fCSI), a novel phenotypic parameter that integrates bone density, bone size, and body size, has significant potential to improve hip fracture risk assessment. The genetic factors underlying variations in fCSI, however, remain largely unknown. Given the important roles of the receptor activator of the nuclear factor-κB ligand/receptor activator of the nuclear factor-κB/osteoprotegerin (RANKL/RANK/OPG) pathway in the regulation of bone remodeling, we tested the associations between RANKL/RANK/OPG polymorphisms and variations in fCSI as well as its components (femoral neck bone mineral density [fBMD], femoral neck width [FNW], and weight). This was accomplished with a sample comprising 1873 subjects from 405 Caucasian nuclear families. Of the 37 total SNPs studied in these three genes, 3 SNPs, namely, rs12585014, rs7988338, and rs2148073, of RANKL were significantly associated with fCSI (P = 0.0007, 0.0007, and 0.0005, respectively) after conservative Bonferroni correction. Moreover, the three SNPs were approximately in complete linkage disequilibrium. Haplotype-based association tests corroborated the single-SNP results since haplotype 1 of block 1 of the RANKL gene achieved an even more significant association with fCSI (P = 0.0003) than any of the individual SNPs. However, we did not detect any significant associations of these genes with fBMD, FNW, or weight. In summary, our findings suggest that the RANKL gene may play an important role in variation in fCSI, independent of fBMD and non-fBMD components.
Femoral neck compression strength index; Femoral neck bone mineral density; Femoral neck width; RANKL/RANK/OPG gene; Quantitative transmission disequilibrium test
Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans is associated with localized aggressive periodontitis, a disease characterized by rapid loss of the alveolar bone surrounding the teeth. Receptor activator of NF-κB Ligand (RANKL) and osteoprotegerin (OPG) are two molecules that regulate osteoclast formation and bone resorption. RANKL induces osteoclast differentiation and activation, whereas OPG blocks this process by acting as a decoy receptor for RANKL. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of A. actinomycetemcomitans on the expression of RANKL and OPG in human gingival fibroblasts and periodontal ligament cells. RANKL mRNA expression was induced in both cell types challenged by A. actinomycetemcomitans extract, whereas OPG mRNA expression remained unaffected. Cell surface RANKL protein was also induced by A. actinomycetemcomitans, whereas there was no change in OPG protein secretion. A cytolethal distending toxin (Cdt) gene-knockout strain of A. actinomycetemcomitans did not induce RANKL expression, in contrast to its wild-type strain. Purified Cdt from Haemophilus ducreyi alone, or in combination with extract from the A. actinomycetemcomitans cdt mutant strain, induced RANKL expression. Pretreatment of A. actinomycetemcomitans wild-type extract with Cdt antiserum abolished RANKL expression. In conclusion, A. actinomycetemcomitans induces RANKL expression in periodontal connective tissue cells. Cdt is crucial for this induction and may therefore be involved in the pathological bone resorption during the process of localized aggressive periodontitis.
Bone remodeling is a cyclic and continuous physiological process, which ensures the conservation and renewal of the bone matrix. Osteosynthesis of the bone matrix is achieved by osteoblasts and coordinated within this complex machinery of bone remodeling with resorption of extracellular bone matrix performed by osteoclasts. The mismatch between the activities of osteoblasts and osteoclasts has immunopathologic implications associated with either a decrease or increase of bone mass mineral density. The balance of the trimolecular control factor complex composed of osteoprotegerin (OPG), RANKL (osteoprotegerin ligand) and RANK maintains physiologic bone remodeling. This trimolecular complex functions as receptors and ligands and belongs to the superfamily of tumor necrosis factor (TNF). This mini review highlights the complex interplay of the RANKL–RANK/OPG axis and their immunopathologic implications in clinical medicine.
Bone metabolism; bone remodeling; RANK–RANKL/OPG