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Calcif Tissue Int. 1995 Jul;57(1):40-6.

Treatment of ovariectomized rats with the complex of rhIGF-I/IGFBP-3 increases cortical and cancellous bone mass and improves structure in the femoral neck.

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  • 1Celtrix Pharmaceuticals, Santa Clara, California 95054, USA.


Sixteen-week-old Sprague-Dawley rats were ovariectomized (Ovx) or sham-operated and housed for 8 weeks to develop osteopenia prior to systemic administration of rhIGF-I (0.9 and 2.6 mg/kg) alone or the rhIGF-I/IGFBP-3 (0.9, 2.6 and 7.5 mg/kg) complex. After 8 weeks of treatment, proximal femurs were fixed, embedded, and cut through the midneck region. Structural and dynamic histomorphometric analyses were performed using standard techniques. Ovx increased endocortical resorption and modeling-dependent periosteal formation which resulted in decreased cortical bone area. Despite increased bone formation, trabecular number, thickness, and area were all reduced due to increased resorption. Structural changes following Ovx included fewer struts and nodes, a higher percentage of the simpler strut forms, and reduced endocortico-trabecular connectivity. Eight weeks of treatment with rhIGF-I or rhIGF-I/IGFBP-3 promoted periosteal and endocortical bone formation and reduced the endocortical resorption induced by Ovx. Both rhIGF-I formulations stimulated bone formation on existing trabecular surfaces which increased trabecular thickness and area but not trabecular number. These treatments prevented further deterioration of the trabecular network caused by Ovx and preserved endocortico-trabecular connectivity. In summary, changes in the femoral neck following Ovx appear to be similar in rats and humans. The highest dose of rhIGF-I/IGFBP-3 used in this study showed the best results in promoting cortical and cancellous bone formation, and appears to be promising therapy for human osteopenias.

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