Thalassemia and the blood transfusion complications associated with it predispose children to poor bone health. This study was conducted to determine the prevalence of bone-related abnormalities and identify the bone health predictors within this population. One hundred and forty transfusion-dependent beta thalassemic subjects 8-18 years old in Mashhad, Iran, participated in this cross-sectional study. Anthropometric measures, dietary intake, bone-related biomarkers and bone densitometry, were assessed. The incidence of underweight and short stature was 33.6 and 41.4 %, respectively, which were indicators of malnutrition among thalassemic subjects in this study. Low bone density was detected in the lumbar spine and femoral region in 82 and 52 % of subjects, respectively. Hypocalcemia and hypophosphatemia were seen in 22 and 18.2 %, whilst vitamin D deficiency was present in more than 85 % of thalassemic children and adolescents. The relationships between weight, height and other anthropometric indices, serum calcium and bone markers, intake of macronutrients, zinc and vitamin E with bone mineral density (BMD) and bone mineral content (BMC) in the lumbar spine and femoral area were positively related, indicating that better nutritional status were associated with higher BMD and BMC values. Puberty, gender and serum osteocalcin were negative predictors for BMD and BMC values, whereas age, weight and height were the positive predictors. High incidence of low bone density and deficit in other aspects of bone health among thalassemia patients makes routine bone health assessment necessary for this vulnerable group. Considering influencing factors, dietary counseling and preventive supplementation therapy for this high risk group of children and adolescents may be necessary, although this should be assessed by intervention studies.
Rapid onset of bone loss is a frequent complication of systemic glucocorticoid therapy which may lead to fragility fractures. Glucocorticoid action in bone depends upon the activity of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 enzyme (11β-HSD1). Regulations of 11β-HSD1 activity may protect the bone against bone loss due to excess glucocorticoids. Glycyrrhizic acid (GCA) is a potent inhibitor of 11β-HSD. Treatment with GCA led to significant reduction in bone resorption markers. In this study we determined the effect of GCA on 11β-HSD1 activity in bones of glucocorticoid-induced osteoporotic rats. Thirty-six male Sprague-Dawley rats (aged 3 months and weighing 250-300 g) were divided randomly into groups of ten. (1) G1, sham operated group; (2) G2, adrenalectomized rats administered with intramuscular dexamethasone 120 μg/kg/day and oral vehicle normal saline vehicle; and (3) G3, adrenalectomized rats administered with intramuscular dexamethasone 120 μg/kg/day and oral GCA 120 mg/kg/day The results showed that GCA reduced plasma corticosterone concentration. GCA also reduced serum concentration of the bone resorption marker, pyridinoline and induced 11β-HSD1 dehydrogenase activity in the bone. GCA improved bone structure, which contributed to stronger bone. Therefore, GCA has the potential to be used as an agent to protect the bone against glucocorticoid induced osteoporosis.
Bone is a specialized connective tissue that functions as the load-bearing structure of the body. Free radicals may affect bone remodeling by regulating osteoclast activity in either the physiological or pathological condition. Vitamin E, a lipid-soluble antioxidant, has been demonstrated to offer protection against osteoporosis and to improve the bone material and structure of animal models. The aim of this study was to observe and compare the effects of alpha-tocopherol (alpha-tocopherol), delta-tocotrienol (delta-tocotrienol), and gamma-tocotrienol (gamma-tocotrienol) on the static and dynamic bone histomorphometric parameters in normal male rats. Thirty-two normal Sprague-Dawley male rats aged 3 months and weighing 200-250 g were randomly divided into four groups. The control group was supplemented with oral gavages of olive oil (vehicle), whereas the alpha-tocopherol, delta-tocotrienol, and gamma-tocotrienol groups were given oral gavages of 60 mg/kg alpha-tocopherol, delta-tocotrienol, and gamma-tocotrienol, respectively. The rats were injected twice with calcein to fluorochrome-label the bones. After 4 months of treatment, the rats were killed, and the left femurs were dissected out and prepared for bone histomorphometry. Both the static and dynamic parameters of the vitamin E-treated groups were better than those of the normal control group. Among the vitamin E-treated groups, the tocotrienol groups showed better histomorphometry results compared to the α-tocopherol group, with the γ-tocotrienol group demonstrating the best effects on both sets of parameters. We concluded that vitamin E can promote bone formation in normal rats, with gamma-tocotrienol being the most potent form of vitamin E.
Recently, vitamin E has been found to promote the bone structure of nicotine-treated rats well above their baseline values, thus suggesting that vitamin E may have some anabolic action. A bone anabolic agent acts by improving the bone structure leading to stronger bone. To assess the possible anabolic action vitamin E on bone, we supplemented alpha-tocopherol (ATF) or gamma-tocotrienol (GTT) at 60 mg/kg or vehicle [normal control (NC) group] for 4 months to normal male rats and measured their bone structure and biomechanical properties. Histomorphometric analysis revealed that vitamin E-supplemented rats have better trabecular volume, thickness, number, and separation than rats receiving vehicle only. For the first time we reported that GTT improves all the parameters of bone biomechanical strength, while ATF only improved some of the parameters compared to the NC group. Vitamin E supplementation, especially with the gamma isomer, improves bone structure, which contributed to stronger bone. Therefore, vitamin E has the potential to be used as an anabolic agent to treat osteoporosis or as bone supplements for young adults to prevent osteoporosis in later years.
We evaluated adherence with raloxifene therapy compared with daily bisphosphonate in Asian postmenopausal women at increased risk of osteoporotic fractures. In this 12-month observational study conducted in Asia (Hong Kong, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan), 984 postmenopausal women (aged 55 years or older) were treated with raloxifene 60 mg/day (n = 707; 72%) or daily bisphosphonate (alendronate 10 mg/day; n = 206; 21%, or risedronate 5 mg/day; n = 71; 7%) during their normal course of care. Patients were assessed at baseline, 6, and 12 months. Baseline characteristics (including age, race, education, menopausal status, and baseline fractures) were comparable between the raloxifene and bisphosphonate groups. More women on raloxifene completed the study compared with those on bisphosphonate (50.2% versus 37.5%; P < 0.001). Patients also took raloxifene for a longer period than bisphosphonate (median, 356 versus 348 days; P = 0.011). Compared with those taking bisphosphonate, significantly fewer patients taking raloxifene discontinued the study because of stopping treatment (5.7% versus 10.1%, P = 0.017) or changing treatment (2.8% versus 9.7%, P < 0.001). Inconvenient dosing was reported as a primary reason for discontinuation due to stopping or changing treatment in 19 (6.9%) bisphosphonate patients compared with 0 raloxifene patients. The percentage of patients who had consumed 80% or more of their study medication was similar for raloxifene patients (48-56 weeks; 95.2%) and bisphosphonate patients (48-56 weeks; 93.3%). More raloxifene patients responded that they were satisfied with their medication than bisphosphonate patients at 48-56 weeks (P = 0.002). We concluded that Asian postmenopausal women at increased risk of osteoporotic fractures showed a greater propensity to remain on raloxifene compared with bisphosphonate. The women on raloxifene exhibited lower discontinuation rates and higher treatment satisfaction.
The effects of nicotine administration on bone-resorbing cytokines, cotinine, and bone histomorphometric parameters were studied in 21 Sprague-Dawley male rats. Rats aged 3 months and weighing 250-300 g were divided into three groups. Group 1 was the baseline control (BC), which was killed without treatment. The other two groups were the control group (C) and the nicotine-treated group (N). The N group was treated with nicotine 7 mg/kg body weight and the C group was treated with normal saline only. Treatment was given by intraperitoneal injection for 6 days/week for 4 months. The rats were injected intraperitoneally with calcein 20 mg/kg body weight at day 9 and day 2 before they were killed. ELISA test kits were used to measure the serum interleukin-1 (IL-1), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and cotinine (a metabolite of nicotine) levels at the beginning of the study and upon completion of the study. Histomorphometric analysis was done on the metaphyseal region of the trabecular bone of the left femur by using an image analyzer. Biochemical analysis revealed that nicotine treatment for 4 months significantly increased the serum IL-1, IL-6, and cotinine levels as compared to pretreatment levels. In addition, the serum cotinine level was significantly higher in the N group than in the C group after 4 months treatment. Histomorphometric analysis showed that nicotine significantly decreased the trabecular bone volume (BV/TV), trabecular thickness (Tb.Th), double-labeled surface (dLS/BS), mineralizing surface (MS/BS), mineral appositional rate (MAR), and bone formation rate (BFR/BS), while causing an increase in the single-labeled surface (sLS/BS), osteoclast surface (Oc.S/BS), and eroded surface (ES/BS) as compared to the BC and C groups. In conclusion, treatment with nicotine 7 mg/kg for 4 months was detrimental to bone by causing an increase in the bone resorbing cytokines and cotinine levels. Nicotine also exerted negative effects on the dynamic trabecular histomorphometric parameters.