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Mol Med Rep. 2013 May;7(5):1482-6. doi: 10.3892/mmr.2013.1401. Epub 2013 Mar 28.

Expression of 11β-HSD in steroid-induced avascular necrosis of the femoral head.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Microsurgery and Hand Surgery, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei 430071, PR China.


The aim of the present study was to investigate the association between glucocorticoid receptors and steroid‑induced avascular necrosis of the femoral head (SANFH). Healthy New Zealand rabbits were randomly divided into 3 groups (n=16/group); the normal (no treatment), control (horse serum injections) and treatment (horse serum and methylprednisolone injections) groups. Methylprednisolone and horse serum injections were used to establish a SANFH model in rabbits; magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and histopathological analysis were used to evaluate the SANFH rabbit model. Total cholesterol and triglyceride contents in the blood of SANFH rabbits were determined. The protein expression levels of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1) and type 2 (11β-HSD2) were determined using western blotting. The total cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood of methylprednisolone‑treated rabbits were significantly increased compared with the control and normal groups, which provides evidence in support of the metabolic disorder theory. Based on the results obtained from western blotting, the expression levels of 11β-HSD1 protein were increased, whereas the expression levels of 11β-HSD2 protein were decreased following injection. The results of the present study indicate that 11β-HSDs are important in the development of SANFH. Furthermore, 11β-HSDs may be important targets for preventing the development of ANFH in patients treated with steroids, which has a significant reference value for the use of steroids in clinical practice.

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