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Horm Metab Res. 2009 Nov;41(11):822-8. doi: 10.1055/s-0029-1231056. Epub 2009 Jul 23.

Combinatory effects of androgen receptor deficiency and hind limb unloading on bone.

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Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Medical Research Institute, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan.


Male sex hormones play a critical role in regulation of bone metabolism. In male mice lacking androgen receptor (AR), osteopenia and high turnover state in bone remodeling have been reported. However, androgen receptor's role in disuse-induced osteopenia is not known. Therefore, we examined the effects of AR deficiency on unloading-induced bone loss. Wild type or androgen receptor deficient mice (ARKO) were subjected to hind limb unloading (HU) or normal housing (Control). The groups of mice were as follows; wild type control mice (Group WT-Cont), ARKO control mice (Group ARKO-Cont), wild type HU mice (Group WT-HU), and ARKO-HU mice (Group ARKO-HU). HU reduced cancellous bone mass in ARKO (ARKO-HU) by about 70% compared to ARKO-Cont and this reduction rate was over two-fold more than that of wild type (WT-HU) (reduction by less than 30% compared to WT-Cont). Combination of ARKO and HU (ARKO-HU) resulted in the least levels of cortical bone mass and bone mineral density among the four groups. ARKO-HU group indicated the highest levels of systemic bone resorption marker, deoxypyridinoline. Osteoclast development levels in the cultures in ARKO-HU derived bone marrow cells were the highest among the four groups. These data suggest that combination of androgen receptor deficiency and hind limb unloading results in exacerbation of disuse-induced osteopenia due to the enhanced levels of bone resorption.

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