We compared the effects of risedronate (Ris) and calcitriol (Cal) on cancellous osteopenia in rats treated with high-dose glucocorticoid (GC). Forty female Sprague-Dawley rats, 4 months of age, were randomized by the stratified weight method into four groups of 10 rats each according to the following treatment schedule: intact control, and GC administration with vehicle, Ris, or Cal. The GC (methylprednisolone sodium succinate, 5.0 mg/kg, s.c.), Ris.(10 μg/kg, s.c.), and Cal (0.1 μg/kg, p.o.) were administered 3 times a week. At the end of the 4-week treatment period, bone histomorphometric analysis was performed for cancellous bone of the proximal tibial metaphysis. The GC administration decreased cancellous bone volume (BV/total tissue volume [TV]), trabecular number (Tb N), and trabecuiar thickness (Tb Th), as a result of increased bone resorption and decreased bone formation. Ris treatment markedly increased cancellous BV/TV and Tb N above the control level as a result of suppressed bone turnover. On the other hand, Cal treatment attenuated the GC-induced decrease in cancellous BV/TV and Tb Th as a result of suppressed bone resorption and maintained bone formation. This study showed the differential effects of Ris and Cal on cancellous osteopenia in rats treated with high-dose GC.
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