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Calcif Tissue Int. 2001 Jul;69(1):46-50. Epub 2001 Jun 13.

Troglitazone treatment increases bone marrow adipose tissue volume but does not affect trabecular bone volume in mice.

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  • 1University Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Aarhus Amtssygehus, Denmark.


Aging is associated with decreased trabecular bone mass and increased adipocyte formation in bone marrow. As osteoblasts and adipocytes share common precursor cells present in the bone marrow stroma, it has been proposed that an inverse relationship exists between adipocyte and osteoblast differentiation. In order to test this hypothesis, we studied mice treated with troglitazone (n = 9) given as a 0.2% of food admixture (2.0 g troglitazone per kg food) for 10 months and control mice (n = 9). Troglitazone is a potent stimulator of adipogenesis acting at the nuclear receptor: peroxisome proliferator activated receptor-gamma (PPARgamma). Histomorphometric analysis of proximal tibia was performed in order to quantitate the amount of trabecular bone volume per total volume (BV/TV %), adipose tissue volume per total volume (AV/TV %), and hematopoietic marrow volume per total volume (HV/TV %) using the point-counting technique. Bone size did not differ between the two groups. In troglitazone-treated mice, AV/TV was significantly higher than in control mice (4.7+/-2.1% vs. 0.2+/-0.3%, respectively, mean +/- SD, P < 0.001). BV/TV was similar in the two groups (16.9+/-5.6% for troglitazone-treated group vs. 14.9+/-4.7% for control group) as well as ash weight of the vertebrae. HV/TV was reduced in troglitazone-treated mice compared with control mice (78.4+/-6.8% vs. 84.9+/-4.7%, respectively, P < 0.05) and the presence of vascular sinusoids was reduced (7.3+/-1.7% vs. 16.1+/-5.6%, respectively, P < 0.05). Our data demonstrate that adipogenesis and osteogenesis can be regulated independently. Troglitazone-induced adipogenesis in the bone marrow may be caused by changes in the bone marrow vascularity.

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