Combined treatment with alendronate and Drynaria rhizome extracts

Effect on fracture healing in osteoporotic rats

Kombinationstherapie mit Alendronat und Drynaria-rhizome-Extrakt

Effekt auf die Frakturheilung bei osteoporotischen Ratten


The effects of both alendronate (ALN) and Drynaria rhizome extracts (DRE) alone could promote bone healing in osteoporotic fractures but there are no reports about the combined use of ALN and DRE for promotion of bone healing of fractures in osteoporotic settings. This study investigated the effects of ALN plus DRE on fractures in osteopenic rats. Osteopenic rats underwent unilateral transverse osteotomy on the femur fixed by a sterilized Kirschner wire 2 weeks after intragastric administration of retinoic acid (80 mg/kg body weight/day). Subsequently, the animals were randomly divided into four groups: control, ALN, DRE and ALN + DRE. All rats from groups ALN, DRE and ALN + DRE received ALN (40 mg/kg, weekly), DRE (90 mg/kg/day), or both for 2, 4 and 6 weeks. The results of our study indicated that all treatment promoted fracture healing and callus formation compared to controls but ALN + DRE treatment showed significantly stronger effects than ALN or DRE alone in histological, X‑ray and biomechanical tests. These results seem to indicate that combined treatment with ALN and DRE has an additive effect on fracture healing and callus formation in osteoporotic rats.


Die Auswirkungen von sowohl Alendronat (ALN) als auch Drynaria-rhizome-Extrakten (DRE) als Einzeltherapie fördern die Knochenheilung von osteoporotischen Frakturen, jedoch existieren keine Berichte über die kombinierte Anwendung von ALN und DRE zur Förderung der Knochenheilung bei Frakturen osteoporotischen Ursprungs. Diese Studie untersuchte die Auswirkungen von ALN plus DRE auf Frakturen bei Ratten mit Osteoporose. Bei osteoporotischen Ratten erfolgte 2 Wochen nach einer intragastralen Gabe von Retinsäure (80 mg/kg Körpergewicht/Tag) eine unilaterale tranversale Osteotomie des Femurs, der mit einem Kirschner-Draht fixiert wurde. Anschließend wurden die Tiere randomisiert in 4 Gruppen eingeteilt: Kontrollgruppe, ALN, DRE und ALN + DRE. Alle Ratten der Gruppen ALN, DRE und ALN + DRE erhielten ALN (40 mg/kg, wöchentlich), DRE (90 mg/kg/Tag) oder beides für 2, 4 und 6 Wochen. Die Ergebnisse unserer Studie deuteten darauf hin, dass alle Behandlungen im Vergleich zur Kontrollgruppe die Frakturheilung und Kallusbildung förderten, wobei die Therapie mit ALN + DRE in histologischen, radiologischen und biomechanischen Untersuchungen signifikant stärkere Auswirkungen zeigte als ALN oder DRE alleine. Diese Ergebnisse scheinen darauf hinzuweisen, dass eine Kombinationstherapie mit ALN und DRE einen zusätzlichen Effekt auf die Frakturheilung und Kallusbildung bei osteoporotischen Ratten hat.

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This work was funded by a research grant to Zhejiang Province Medicine and Health Research Project (No. 2016KYB196), Zhejiang Chinese Medicine Bureau Research Project (No. 2016ZA140), Science Technology Department of Zhejiang Province Research Project (No. 2017C37125) and Key Project of Natural Science Research for Colleges and universities of Anhui Province Project (No.KJ2017A266).

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Correspondence to Dong-Sheng Zhou Ph.D.

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L. Chen, Z.-S. Tao, H. Chen, K. Zhou and D.-S. Zhou declare that they have no competing interests.

All animal experiments were conducted in accordance with international standards on animal welfare as well as being compliant with the Animal Research Committee of the university.

Additional information

Long Chen and Zhou-Shan Tao are co-authors and contributed equally to this work.

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Chen, L., Tao, Z., Chen, H. et al. Combined treatment with alendronate and Drynaria rhizome extracts. Z Gerontol Geriat 51, 875–881 (2018).

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  • Animals
  • Plant extracts
  • Osteoclasts
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine
  • X-ray


  • Tiere
  • Pflanzenextrakte
  • Osteoklasten
  • Traditionelle Chinesische Medizin
  • Röntgen