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Biol Pharm Bull. 2002 Jun;25(6):738-42.

Effects of osthole on postmenopausal osteoporosis using ovariectomized rats; comparison to the effects of estradiol.

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Department of Pharmacology, Intractable Diseases Research Center, Tokyo Medical University, Japan.


The purpose of this study was to examine effects of osthole on postmenopausal osteoporosis using ovariectomized (OVX) rats. All of the rats were divided into sham and OVX groups. At 2 weeks post-operation, the sham-operated rats received solvent vehicle (97% corn oil and 3% ethanol, 1.0 ml/kg, subcutaneously); the OVX rats were divided into three groups which were treated with solvent vehicle (same the sham rats, 1.0 ml/kg, subcutaneously), 17beta-estradiol (30 microg/kg, subcutaneously) or osthole (9.0 mg/kg, orally) 5 d/week for 4 weeks, respectively. In OVX rats, the increases of body weight, spleen and thymus weight were significantly decreased and the atrophy of uterus was preserved by 17beta-estradiol treatment, but not by osthole. Treatment with either 17beta-estradiol or osthole significantly protected cancellous bone loss owing to estrogen deficiency and significantly increased the maximal load in the femoral neck of OVX rats. In addition, the increases of serum osteocalcin (OC) and urinary deoxypyridinoline (DPD) levels caused by ovariectomy were all significantly suppressed by 17beta-estradiol. However, only urinary DPD was significantly reduced by osthole and no change was found in serum OC. Our results demonstrate that osthole may be just as effective as 17beta-estradiol in suppressing bone loss due to ovariectomy but osthole perhaps does not work through the estrogen pathway.

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