, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 339-347
Date: 15 Nov 2012

Effects of 3 years treatment with once-yearly zoledronic acid on the kinetics of bone matrix maturation in osteoporotic patients

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Once-yearly administration of intravenous zoledronic acid for 3 years in humans affects the kinetics of matrix filling in by mineral, independent of bone turnover.


Yearly 5-mg infusions of zoledronic acid (ZOL) for 3 years have shown pronounced antifracture efficacy. The purpose of the present study was to test whether ZOL affects the kinetics of forming bone material properties maturation.


Iliac crest biopsies from the HORIZON-PFT clinical trial were analyzed by Raman microspectroscopy in actively bone-forming surfaces as a function of tissue age in trabecular and osteonal bone, to determine ZOL’s effect on bone material quality indices maturation kinetics.


Mineral/matrix ratio increased in both groups as a function of tissue age, at both osteonal- and trabecular-forming surfaces; ZOL exhibiting the greatest increase in the trabecular surfaces only. The proteoglycan content showed a dependency on tissue age in both trabecular and osteonal surfaces, with ZOL exhibiting lower values in the tissue age 8–22 days in the trabecular surfaces. Mineral crystallinity (crystallite length and thickness) showed a dependence on tissue age, with ZOL exhibiting lower crystallite length compared with placebo only in the 8- to 22-day-old tissue at trabecular surfaces, while crystal thickness was lower in the 1- to 5-day-old tissue at both osteonal and trabecular surfaces.


The results of the present study suggest that once-yearly administration of intravenous ZOL for 3 years in humans does not exert any adverse effects on the evolution of bone material properties at actively forming osteonal and trabecular surfaces, while it may have a beneficial effect on the progression of the mineral-to-matrix ratio and mineral maturity bone quality indices.