International Orthopaedics

, Volume 42, Issue 5, pp 1183–1190 | Cite as

Effects of human parathyroid hormone 1–34 on bone loss and lumbar intervertebral disc degeneration in ovariectomized rats

  • Yang Luo
  • Shu-yang Li
  • Fa-ming Tian
  • Hui-ping Song
  • Ying-ze Zhang
  • Liu Zhang
Original Paper



Lumbar intervertebral disc degeneration is a common cause of lower back pain that affects the physical and mental health of patients and increases social burden. Parathyroid hormone has been reported to be effective at inhibiting disc degeneration; however, these effects have not been fully established in vivo in ovariectomized (OVX) rats. Thus, in this study, we aimed to address this issue and examine the effects of parathyroid hormone treatment in OVX rats.


Thirty female Sprague-Dawley rats, three months-old, were subjected to sham or ovariectomy surgery. Twelve weeks postsurgery, OVX rats were treated with either human parathyroid hormone [hPTH(1–34), 30 μg/kg/day] or vehicle (normal saline (NS)) treatment. The L3–6 spinal segments were harvested after 12 weeks treatment. Bone mineral density (BMD), micro-architectural parameters, and biomechanical assessment were measured at the lumbar vertebral bodies. Histology and immunohistochemistry were performed to analyze the characteristics of the lumbar intervertebral discs.


OVX + PTH rats had significantly higher BMD, percentage bone volume density, trabecular thickness, and biomechanical strength compared with those in Sham and OVX + NS rats. Histology and immunostaining revealed that disc degeneration was not significantly different between the OVX + NS rats and the OVX + PTH rats, compared with the Sham group; the structure of nucleus pulposus was disordered, the expression of collagen I was increased, and collagen II and aggrecan were decreased.


These findings confirmed that hPTH(1–34) treatment has substantial anabolic effects on bone mass and trabecular micro-architecture, while the excessively enhanced bone mass and strength were coupled with a non-significant effect on the disc degeneration in ovariectomized rats.


Osteoporosis Parathyroid hormone Bone mineral density Bone biomechanics, ovariectomy 


Funding information

This work was partly supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 31671235), Key project of Nature Science Foundation of Hebei Province (no. H2016209176), and Natural Science Foundation of Hebei province (no. H2013209257).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All experimental procedures were reviewed and approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.


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Copyright information

© SICOT aisbl 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yang Luo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shu-yang Li
    • 3
  • Fa-ming Tian
    • 4
  • Hui-ping Song
    • 1
  • Ying-ze Zhang
    • 2
  • Liu Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Orthopedic SurgeryAffiliated Hospital of North China University of Science and TechnologyTangshanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Orthopedic SurgeryThe Third Hospital of Hebei Medical UniversityShijiazhuangPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.College of Traditional Chinese MedicineInner Mongolia Medical UniversityHuhehaotePeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Medical Research CenterNorth China University of Science and TechnologyTangshanPeople’s Republic of China

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