Introduction: Treatment for osteoporosis commonly includes the use of bisphosphonates. Serious side effects of these drugs are caused by the inhibition of bone resorption as a result of osteoclast apoptosis. Treatment using calcitonin along with bisphosphonates overcomes these side-effects in some patients. Calcitonin is known to inhibit bone resorption without reducing the number of osteoclasts and is thought to prolong osteoclast survival through the inhibition of apoptosis. Further understanding of how calcitonin inhibits apoptosis could prove useful to the development of alternative treatment regimens for osteoporosis. This study aimed to analyze the mechanism by which calcitonin influences osteoclast apoptosis induced by a bisphosphate analog, sintered dicalcium pyrophosphate (SDCP), and to determine the effects of co-treatment with calcitonin and SDCP on apoptotic signaling in osteoclasts. Methods: Isolated osteoclasts were treated with CT, SDCP or both for 48 h. Osteoclast apoptosis assays, pit formation assays, and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) staining were performed. Using an osteoporosis rat model, ovariectomized (OVX) rats received calcitonin, SDCP, or calcitonin + SDCP. The microarchitecture of the fifth lumbar trabecular bone was investigated, and histomorphometric and biochemical analyses were performed. Results: Calcitonin inhibited SDCP-induced apoptosis in primary osteoclast cultures, increased Bcl-2 and Erk activity, and decreased Mcl-1 activity. Calcitonin prevented decreased osteoclast survival but not resorption induced by SDCP. Histomorphometric analysis of the tibia revealed increased bone formation, and microcomputed tomography of the fifth lumbar vertebrate showed an additive effect of calcitonin and SDCP on bone volume. Finally, analysis of the serum bone markers CTX-I and P1NP suggests that the increased bone volume induced by co-treatment with calcitonin and SDCP may be due to decreased bone resorption and increased bone formation. Conclusions: Calcitonin reduces SDCP-induced osteoclast apoptosis and increases its efficacy in an in vivo model of osteoporosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
- General Agricultural and Biological Sciences