Journal of Bone and Mineral Metabolism

, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 38–47 | Cite as

Resveratrol supplementation preserves long bone mass, microstructure, and strength in hindlimb-suspended old male rats

  • Stephanie M. Durbin
  • Janna R. Jackson
  • Michael J. Ryan
  • Joseph C. Gigliotti
  • Stephan E. Alway
  • Janet C. TouEmail author
Original Article


Resveratrol has gained popularity as an “anti-aging” compound due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Few studies have investigated the role of resveratrol supplementation in the prevention of age-related bone loss and skeletal disuse despite increased inactivity and age-related bone loss in the elderly. The objective of the study was to investigate the effect of resveratrol supplementation on disuse and age-related bone loss. Old (age 33 months) Fischer 344 × Brown Norway male rats were provided either trans-resveratrol (12.5 mg/kg bw/day) or deionized distilled water by oral gavage for 21 days. Rats were hindlimb-suspended (HLS) or kept ambulatory (AMB) for 14 days. Both femora and tibiae were collected. Bone mass was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and bone microstructure was determined by micro-computed tomography. HLS of old male rats accelerated loss of bone mineral content, decreased trabecular bone volume per unit of total volume, and increased trabecular separation. Resveratrol supplementation ameliorated bone demineralization and loss of bone microarchitecture in HLS old male rats. The peak force measured by the three-point bending test was reduced (P = 0.007) in HLS/control compared to AMB/control rats. Resveratrol supplementation ameliorated HLS-induced loss of femur strength. Plasma osteocalcin and alkaline phosphatase was higher (P < 0.04) and C-reactive protein was lower (P = 0.04) in old male rats given resveratrol. The bone protective effects of resveratrol appeared to be mediated through increased osteoblast bone formation, possibly due to reduced inflammation. Based on the results, resveratrol supplementation appeared to provide a feasible dietary therapy for preserving the skeletal system during disuse and age-related bone loss.


Resveratrol Bone Old Disuse Male rats 



The authors wish to thank Stephanie Altman for her assistance with the TBARS and total antioxidant capacity measurements, Joan Wright for the ICP analysis of bones, Eric Scheller for technical assistance during the animal surgeries, and Dr. Brenda J. Smith for performing the DEXA and μCT bone analysis. Funding for this study was provided by the West Virginia University Agriculture and Forestry Experimental Station Hatch grant H45.

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society for Bone and Mineral Research and Springer Japan 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephanie M. Durbin
    • 1
  • Janna R. Jackson
    • 2
  • Michael J. Ryan
    • 2
  • Joseph C. Gigliotti
    • 1
  • Stephan E. Alway
    • 2
    • 3
  • Janet C. Tou
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Division of Animal and Nutritional SciencesWest Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA
  2. 2.Division of Exercise PhysiologyWest Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA
  3. 3.Center for Cardiovascular and Respiratory SciencesWest Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA

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