Attainment of peak bone mass and bone turnover rate in relation to estrous cycle, pregnancy and lactation in colony-bred Sprague-Dawley rats: Suitability for studies on pathophysiology of bone and therapeutic measures for its management

S. Sengupta, M. Arshad, S. Sharma, Manoj Dubey, M. M. Singh

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38 Scopus citations

Abstract

Alteration in biochemical markers of bone turnover and bone mineral density (BMD) of whole body and isolated femur and tibia in relation to age, estrous cycle, pregnancy and lactation and suitability of use of rat as model for studies on pathophysiology of bone and therapeutic measures for its management were investigated. Immature rats (1, 1.5 and 2 month of age; weighing, respectively, 39.3 ± 1.0, 67.8 ± 2.4 and 87.2 ± 5.2 g) exhibited high rate of bone turnover, as evidenced by high serum osteocalcin and alkaline phosphatase and urine calcium/creatinine ratio. However, their BMD (whole body or of isolated long bones) was below measurable levels. Marked increase in body weight at 3 months (185.5 ± 5.2 g) was associated with low serum osteocalcin and alkaline phosphatase and urine calcium/creatinine ratio. Biochemical markers and BMD attained at puberty at 3 months were maintained until 36 month of age. No significant change in serum calcium was observed with increasing age or on any of the biomarkers during estrous cycle, and BMD of femur and tibia isolated during proestrus and diestrus stages was almost similar. Onset of pregnancy was associated with significant increase in serum total alkaline phosphatase and osteocalcin levels, but serum calcium, urine calcium/creatinine ratio or BMD of whole body or isolated long bones were not significantly different from that at proestrus stage. No marked change, except increase in body weight (P < 0.05), was also evident in these parameters between days 5 and 19 of pregnancy, irrespective of number of implantations in the uterus. A significant decrease in BMD of isolated femur (neck and mid-shaft regions) was observed on days 5 and 21 of lactation as compared to that during pregnancy or diestrus/proestrus stages of estrous cycle; the decrease being almost similar in females lactating two or six young ones. BMD of isolated tibia (global and region proximal to tibio-fibular separation point), though generally lower than that during cycle and pregnancy, was statistically non-significant. However, clear evidence of occurrence of osteoporosis during lactation, with decrease in BMD of >2.5 × S.D. in isolated femur (global, neck and mid-shaft) as well as tibia (global) was observed only when BMD data was analysed on T-/Z-score basis. Serum biochemical markers of bone turnover, too, were significantly increased in comparison to cyclic rats. Findings demonstrate marked increase in body weight and bone turnover during first 3 months of age, direct correlation between peak bone mass and onset of puberty at 3 months of age and increase in bone resorption rate during lactation. Finding of the study while might suggests possible use of rat as useful model for studies on bone turnover rate during lactation and post-weaning periods and extrapolation of the result to the human situation, but not in relation to ageing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)421-429
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Volume94
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2005
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Authors thank Dr. C.M. Gupta, Director, for interest in the study, Dr. Vijaylakshmi Bhatia, Department of Endocrinology, Sanjay Gandhi Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, for BMD measurements, Dr. Mukesh Srivastava for statistical analysis of the data and Mr. B.P. Mishra and Mr. Jagdish Prasad for efficient handling of animals. This study received financial support from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. CDRI communication no. 6367.

Keywords

  • Ageing
  • BMD of isolated bones
  • Biochemical markers
  • Bone turnover
  • Estrous cycle
  • Lactation
  • Peak bone mass
  • Pregnancy
  • Puberty
  • Sprague-Dawley rats

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