Effect of Urocortin on strength and microarchitecture of osteopenic rat femur
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As yet there is no evidence of the potential antiosteoporotic effect of Urocortin-1 (UCN), a corticotropin releasing factor related peptide, in vivo. In this study, and for the first time, we investigated the effect of UCN in a rat osteopenia model. Sixty female Sprague–Dawley rats were divided into 5 groups: (1) sham-operated, (2) untreated ovariectomized (OVX) rats, (3) and (4) OVX animals treated for 5 weeks with daily subcutaneous low-dose UCN (3 μg/kg of BW) or high-dose UCN (30 μg/kg of BW) 8 weeks after ovariectomy, and (5) OVX rats treated with daily estrogen (0.2 mg/kg of BW p.o) 8 weeks after ovariectomy for 5 weeks (E). After sacrifice, the femurs were reserved for biomechanical, histomorphometric and ash testing. In the biomechanical test, the high-dose UCN rats showed significantly improved mechanical stiffness (341.6 N/mm) compared with the untreated OVX animals (275.9 N/mm). In the histomorphometric evaluation, the high-dose UCN rats demonstrated an improved trabecular microarchitecture especially and significantly at the distal femur (distal femur Tb.Ar = 41.4 % and N.Nd/mm2 = 26.8, proximal femur Tb.Ar = 71.8 % and N.Nd/mm2 = 28.7) compared with untreated OVX rats (distal femur Tb.Ar = 23.3 % and N.Nd/mm2 = 11.7, proximal femur Tb.Ar = 60.2 % and N.Nd/mm2 = 25.2). Our results show that short-term treatment with UCN seems to have a positive effect on the metaphyseal bone structure and strength of the femur in ovariectomized rats.
KeywordsUrocortin-1 Osteoporosis Femur Ovariectomized rat Bone quality
The authors thank R. Castro and A. Witt for their support of the animal trial.
Conflict of interest
All authors have no conflicts of interest.
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