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Bone. 1995 Nov;17(5):491-6.

Effects of droloxifene on prevention of cancellous bone loss and bone turnover in the axial skeleton of aged, ovariectomized rats.

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Department of Metabolic Diseases, Pfizer Inc., Groton, CT 06340, USA.


The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of droloxifene (DRO), an estrogen antagonist/agonist, in preventing ovariectomy (OVX)-induced lumbar vertebral cancellous bone loss and bone turnover in aged female rats. Fifty-three Sprague-Dawley female rats were OVX or sham-operated at 19 months of age, and divided into 6 groups: (I) sham-operated controls; (II) OVX vehicle controls; (III) OVX rats treated with E2 at 30 micrograms/kg/day; (IV)-(VI) OVX rats treated with DRO at either 2.5, 5, or 10 mg/kg p.o. daily. The treatment period was 8 weeks. Static and dynamic cancellous bone histomorphometric parameters were determined on 4 and 10 microns thick, undecalcified, double-fluorescent labeled sections of the fourth lumbar vertebral body. Changes in body weight, uterine weight, and total serum cholesterol were also determined. OVX for 8 weeks in 19-month-old female rats resulted in reduced trabecular bone volume (-18%) and trabecular width (-10%) and increased labeling perimeter (+52%), bone formation rate/bone surface referent (+60%), bone formation rate/bone volume referent (+77%), osteoclast number (+41%), and osteoclast perimeter (+41%). E2 treatment at 30 micrograms/kg/day for 8 weeks prevented OVX-induced cancellous bone loss and decreased bone resorption, bone formation, and bone turnover to the values of sham controls. DRO at 2.5-10 mg/kg/day completely prevented bone loss and bone turnover associated with estrogen deficiency. Osteoclast number and perimeter were significantly decreased in DRO-treated-OVX rats compared to both sham and OVX controls. Trabecular bone volume, trabecular width, labeling perimeter, bone formation rate/bone surface referent, and bone formation rate/bone volume referent showed no differences in DRO-treated OVX rats compared to those of E2-treated OVX rats and sham controls. These histomorphometric results indicated that DRO is an estrogen agonist on cancellous bone of lumbar vertebral bodies of aged, OVX rats. Further, E2 treatment prevented the OVX-induced increase in body weight gain and nonsignificantly reduced total serum cholesterol compared to OVX controls. Body weight gain and total serum cholesterol did not differ between OVX rats treated with E2 and sham controls. In OVX rats treated with DRO, body weight decreased significantly in a dose-response manner, and total serum cholesterol was significantly reduced by 65% to 70% compared to both sham and OVX controls. In addition, treatment with E2 increased uterine weight to the value of sham controls in OVX rats. However, DRO had no effect on uterine weight at either 2.5 or 10 mg/kg/day, while it only slightly but significantly increased uterine weight over OVX controls at 5 mg/kg/day. We conclude that DRO was efficacious in the prevention of lumbar vertebral cancellous bone loss and in the decline of total serum cholesterol but had no effect on uterine weight in the aged, OVX female rats. Our data suggest that DRO is a potentially useful agent for the prevention of vertebral bone loss leading to spinal fractures in postmenopausal women.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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