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Physiol Res. 2007;56(4):443-7. Epub 2006 Aug 22.

Raloxifen prevents bone loss in castrated male mice.

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Third Medical Clinic, First Medical Faculty, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic.


Raloxifen is a selective estrogen receptor modulator which prevents bone loss in ovariectomized female mice in a fashion similar to estrogens. Since testosterone-deficient male mice also lose bone mass, we were interested in testing the effects of raloxifen on bones in intact and castrated male mice. Bone density was significantly reduced in castrated animals (1.36+/-0.04 g/ml) as compared to intact animals (1.42+/-0.03 g/ml) (p<0.01). When castrated mice with extraordinarily low concentrations of testosterone and with reduced weight of seminal vesicles were treated with raloxifen, the changes in bone density and bone minerals resulting from castration (1.36+/-0.04 g/ml) were entirely prevented (1.40+/-0.01 g/ml). Cortical bone was lost in orchidectomized mice, and this decrease in cortical thickness of the femur was prevented by raloxifen administration. Raloxifen in a dose used in humans for treatment of osteoporosis decreased the weight of seminal vesicles, an organ which is highly sensitive to the androgenic effect, decreased the concentration of testosterone (12.5+/-2.8 micromol/l) (p<0.01) but not to the same level as in the case of castrated animals (0.6+/-0.3 micromol/l), and did not have any effect on bone density or mineral content in intact mice. The results of the present study may thus be interpreted as supporting the hypothesis that raloxifen is an effective agent against the deleterious effects of castration-induced osteopenia in male mice and also support the hypothesis that estrogens may have physiological skeletal effects in male mice.

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