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
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.
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
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.
Osteoporosis is a common bone disease characterized by reduced bone and increased risk of fracture. In postmenopausal women, osteoporosis results from bone loss attributable to estrogen deficiency. Osteoclast differentiation and activation is mediated by receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL), its receptor receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB (RANK), and a decoy receptor for RANKL, osteoprotegerin (OPG). The OPG/RANKL/RANK system plays a pivotal role in osteoclast biology. Currently, a fully human anti-RANKL monoclonal antibody named denosumab is being clinically used for the treatment of osteoporosis and cancer-related bone disorders. This review describes recent advances in RANKL-related research, a story from bench to bedside. First, the discovery of the key factors, OPG/RANKL/RANK, revealed the molecular mechanism of osteoclastogenesis. Second, we established three animal models: (1) a novel and rapid bone loss model by administration of glutathione-S transferase-RANKL fusion protein to mice; (2) a novel mouse model of hypercalcemia with anorexia by overexpression of soluble RANKL using an adenovirus vector; and (3) a novel mouse model of osteopetrosis by administration of a denosumab-like anti-mouse RANKL neutralizing monoclonal antibody. Lastly, anti-human RANKL monoclonal antibody has been successfully applied to the treatment of osteoporosis and cancer-related bone disorders in many countries. This is a real example of applying basic science to clinical practice.
Osteoclast; Osteoblast; Receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand; Denosumab; Receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB; Osteoprotegerin
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
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.
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
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.
Many postmenopausal women have vitamin D and calcium deficiency. Therefore, vitamin D and calcium supplementation is recommended for all patients with osteopenia and osteoporosis. We used an experimental rat model to test the hypothesis that induction of osteoporosis is more efficiently achieved in peripheral bone through combining ovariectomy with a unique multi-deficiencies diet (vitamin D depletion and deficient calcium, vitamin K and phosphorus). 14-week-old Sprague-Dawley rats served as controls to examine the initial bone status. 11 rats were bilaterally ovariectomized (OVX) and fed with multi-deficiencies diet. Three months later the treated group and the Sham group (n = 8) were euthanized. Bone biomechanical competence of the diaphyseal bone was examined on both, tibia and femur. Image analysis was performed on tibia via µCT, and on femur via histological analysis. Lower torsional stiffness indicated inferior mechanical competence of the tibia in 3 month OVX+Diet. Proximal metaphyseal region of the tibia showed a diminished bone tissue portion to total tissue in the µCT despite the increased total area as evaluated in both µCT and histology. Cortical bone showed higher porosity and smaller cross sectional thickness of the tibial diaphysis in the OVX+Diet rats. A lower ALP positive area and elevated serum level of RANKL exhibited the unbalanced cellular interaction in bone remodeling in the OVX+Diet rat after 3 month of treatment. Interestingly, more adipose tissue area in bone marrow indicated an effect of bone loss similar to that observed in osteoporotic patients. Nonetheless, the presence of osteoid and elevated serum level of PTH, BGP and Opn suggest the development of osteomalacia rather than an osteoporosis. As the treatment and fracture management of both osteoporotic and osteomalacia patients are clinically overlapping, this study provides a preclinical animal model to be utilized in local supplementation of minerals, drugs and growth factors in future fracture healing studies.
This study investigated the effect of treatment with the proprietary standardized, water-soluble extract of the root of the Malaysian plant, Eurycoma longifolia Jack, which is thought to enhance male fertility with regard to higher semen volumes, sperm concentrations, the percentage of normal sperm morphology and sperm motility in male partners of sub-fertile couples with idiopathic infertility. A total of 350 patients were given 200 mg of the extract daily and follow-up semen analyses were performed every 3 months for 9 months. Of these 350 patients, 75 patients completed one full cycle of 3 months. Follow-up semen analyses in these patients showed significant improvement in all semen parameters. The proprietary extract of Eurycoma longifolia Jack significantly improved the sperm quality in these patients, allowing for 11 (14.7%) spontaneous pregnancies.
male infertility; medicinal herbs; semen
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.
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
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
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 discovery of the RANKL/RANK/OPG system in the mid 1990s for the regulation of bone resorption has led to major advances in our understanding of how bone modeling and remodeling are regulated. It had been known for many years before this discovery that osteoblastic stromal cells regulated osteoclast formation, but it had not been anticipated that they would do this through expression of members of the TNF superfamily: receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) and osteoprotegerin (OPG), or that these cytokines and signaling through receptor activator of NF-κB (RANK) would have extensive functions beyond regulation of bone remodeling. RANKL/RANK signaling regulates osteoclast formation, activation and survival in normal bone modeling and remodeling and in a variety of pathologic conditions characterized by increased bone turnover. OPG protects bone from excessive resorption by binding to RANKL and preventing it from binding to RANK. Thus, the relative concentration of RANKL and OPG in bone is a major determinant of bone mass and strength. Here, we review our current understanding of the role of the RANKL/RANK/OPG system in bone modeling and remodeling.
Bone resorption; osteoclasts; RANKL; RANK; OPG
Receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) is essential for osteoclastogenesis. Targeting RANKL signaling pathways has been an encouraging strategy for treating lytic bone diseases such as osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Sinomenine (SIN), derived from Chinese medicinal plant Sinomenioumacutum, is an active compound to treat RA, but its effect on osteoclasts has been hitherto unknown. In the present study, SIN was found to ameliorate M. tuberculosis H37Ra (Mt)-induced bone loss in rats with a decreased serum level of TRACP5b and RANKL, and an increased level of osteoprotegerin (OPG). In vitro study also showed that SIN could inhibit RANKL-induced osteoclast formation and bone resorption. The osteoclastic specific marker genes induced by RANKL including c-Src, MMP-9, TRACP were inhibited by SIN in a dose dependent manner. Signal transduction studies showed that SIN could obviously reduce the expression of RANK adaptor molecule TRAF6 and down-regulate RANKL-induced NF-κB activation. It decreased the RANKL-induced p38, JNK posphorylation but not ERK1/2 posphorylation. SIN could also reduce RANKL-mediated calcium influx which is associated with TRAF6/c-Src complex. Finally, SIN suppressed RANKL induced AP-1 and NFAT transcription, as well as the gene expression of NFATc1 and AP-1 components (Fra-1, Fra-2, c-Fos). The protein expression of c-Fos and TRAF6 were also inhibited by SIN after RANKL stimulation. Taken together, SIN could attenuate osteoclast formation and Mt-induced bone loss by mediating RANKL signaling pathways.
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.
Osteoporosis; Whole-body vertical vibration; Rat femur; Mechanical stimulation