Introduction: The prevalence of osteoporosis is increasing with the aging population and is associated with increased risk of fracture and chronic pain. Osteoporosis is currently treated with bisphosphonate therapy to attenuate bone loss. We previously reported that improvement in bone mineral density is not sufficient to reduce osteoporosis-related pain in an ovariectomy (OVX)-induced mouse model of osteoporosis, highlighting the need for new treatments. Targeting of nerve growth factor (NGF) with sequestering antibodies is a promising new direction for the treatment of musculoskeletal pain including back pain and arthritis. Its efficacy is currently unknown for osteoporotic pain. Objective: To investigate the efficacy of anti-NGF antibody therapy on osteoporotic pain in an OVX-induced mouse model. Methods: Ovariectomy- and sham-operated mice were injected with an anti-NGF antibody (10 mg/kg, intraperitoneally, administered 23, 14 days apart), and the effect on behavioural indices of osteoporosis-related pain and on sensory neuron plasticity was evaluated. Results: Treatment with anti-NGF antibodies attenuated OVX-induced hypersensitivity to mechanical, cold, and heat stimuli on the plantar surface of the hind paw. The OVX-induced impairment in grip force strength, used here as a measure of axial discomfort, was partially reversed by anti-NGF therapy. No changes were observed in the rotarod or open-field tests for overall motor function and activity. Finally, anti-NGF treatment attenuated the increase in calcitonin gene-related peptide–immunoreactive dorsal root ganglia neurons observed in OVX mice. Conclusion: Taken together, these data suggest that anti-NGF antibodies may be useful in the treatment of prefracture hypersensitivity that is reported in 10% of patients with osteoporosis.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Grants MOP102586, MOP126046, and MOP142291 to M. Millecamps and L.S. Stone.
- Anti-NGF therapy
- OVX-induced mouse model
- Osteoporosis-related pain