Minimodeling is a type of focal bone formation that is characterized by the lack of precedent bone erosion by osteoclasts. Although this form of bone formation has been described for more than a decade, how anti-osteoporotic agents that are currently used in clinical practice affect the kinetics of minimodeling is not fully understood. We performed a bone morphometric analysis using human vertebral specimens collected from postmenopausal patients who underwent spinal surgery. Patients were divided into three groups according to osteoporosis medication; non-treated, Eldecalcitol (ELD, a vitamin D derivative that has recently been approved to treat patients with osteoporosis in Japan)-treated, and bisphosphonate-treated groups. Five to six patients were enrolled in each group. There was a trend toward enhanced minimodeling in ELD-treated patients and suppressed of it in bisphosphonate-treated patients compared with untreated patients. The differences of minimodeling activity between ELD-treated and bisphosphonate-treated patients were statistically significant. The present study suggests that ELD and bisphosphonates have opposite effects on minimodeling from one another, and show that minimodeling also takes place in vertebrae as has been described for the ilium and femoral head in humans.
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