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Bone. 1995 Feb;16(2):235-45.

Alendronate distributed on bone surfaces inhibits osteoclastic bone resorption in vitro and in experimental hypercalcemia models.

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Teijin Institute for Bio-Medical Research, Tokyo, Japan.

Erratum in

  • Bone 1995 Sep;17(3):333.


Alendronate is an aminobisphosphonate that acts as a potent inhibitor of osteoclastic bone resorption. To understand the mechanism of action of alendronate in vivo, in this study we investigated the relationship between distribution of [14C]-alendronate in rat bone and its effects on bone resorption in vitro or in rat hypercalcemic models. A single IV dose of 0.05 approximately 1.25 mg/kg inhibited the increase in plasma calcium level induced by bovine PTH or 1 alpha(OH)D3. The minimal effective dose of pamidronate (1.25 mg/kg) and etidronate (over 31.25 mg/kg) were at least 5 times and 25 times, respectively, higher than the dose of alendronate in the rat hypercalcemic model prepared by 1 alpha(OH)D3. The relative potencies of compounds in the hypercalcemic rat models reflected those of inhibitory effects on bone resorption in vitro. We conducted the ivory-slice assay under two conditions: (a) addition of a given bisphosphonate after adherence of the osteoclasts; and (b) preincubation of the ivory slices with a given bisphosphonate. The inhibitory IC50 values of alendronate under condition (b) were similar to those under condition (a). To evaluate the interaction between osteoclasts and alendronate in bone, we investigated the localization of [14C]-alendronate in the tibia of growing rats (4-day-old rats). Alendronate did not distribute uniformly in the tibia. At 1 day after injection (0.05 mg SC), dense labeling was seen primarily under osteoclasts. We injected 0.05 mg/kg of [14C]-alendronate (single i.v.) into rats [14C]-alendronate was rapidly eliminated from plasma, and mainly distributed to the bone in rats. These data suggest that alendronate which distributed on bone surface mainly contributed to the antihypercalcemic action in vivo.

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