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J Nutr. 2014 Mar;144(3):289-96. doi: 10.3945/jn.113.185397. Epub 2013 Dec 31.

N-acetylcysteine supplementation decreases osteoclast differentiation and increases bone mass in mice fed a high-fat diet.

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USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center, Grand Forks, ND.


Obesity induced by high-fat (HF) diets increases bone resorption, decreases trabecular bone mass, and reduces bone strength in various animal models. This study investigated whether N-acetylcysteine (NAC), an antioxidant and a glutathione precursor, alters glutathione status and mitigates bone microstructure deterioration in mice fed an HF diet. Forty-eight 6-wk-old male C57BL/6 mice were randomly assigned to 4 treatment groups (n = 12 per group) and fed either a normal-fat [NF (10% energy as fat)] or an HF (45% energy as fat) diet ad libitum with or without NAC supplementation at 1 g/kg diet for 17 wk. Compared with the NF groups, mice in the HF groups had higher body weight, greater serum leptin concentrations and osteoclast differentiation, and lower trabecular bone volume, trabecular number, and connectivity density (P < 0.05). NAC supplementation increased the serum-reduced glutathione concentration and bone volume and decreased osteoclast differentiation in HF-fed mice (P < 0.05). We further demonstrated that osteoclast differentiation was directly regulated by glutathione status. NAC treatment of murine macrophage RAW 264.7 cells in vitro increased glutathione status and decreased osteoclast formation. These results show that NAC supplementation increases the bone mass of obese mice induced by an HF diet through elevating glutathione status and decreasing bone resorption.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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