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Calcif Tissue Int. 2003 Feb;72(2):143-50. Epub 2002 Dec 4.

Effects of risedronate, alendronate, and etidronate on the viability and activity of rat bone marrow stromal cells in vitro.

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Child Health, University of Sheffield Medical School, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TH, UK.


The effects of risedronate, alendronate, and etidronate were assessed in calcifying fibroblastic colony-forming unit (CFU-f) cultures of rat bone marrow cells in vitro. Biphasic effects on the formation of bone-like colonies were observed. Treatment with high concentrations (10(-5)-10(-4)M) of alendronate and risedronate caused a total inhibition of colony formation whereas etidronate had relatively little effect. It was also found that intermediate concentrations (10(-6)M) of alendronate and risedronate decreased the formation of colonies displaying osteoblastic characteristics such as alkaline phosphatase expression, collagen accumulation, and calcification. At lower concentrations (10(-9)-10(-7)M), risedronate and alendronate increased the formation of fibroblastic colonies, suggesting a mild anabolic effect, however, the formation of colonies with osteoblastic properties was not affected. Treating the cells with a combination of bisphosphonate and 1 mM geranylgeraniol could to some extent abrogate the cytotoxic effects of alendronate or risedronate, suggesting the involvement of the mevalonate pathway. The colony-stimulating activity of these bisphosphonates was, however, unaffected.

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