Lifelong food restriction prevents senile osteopenia and hyperparathyroidism in F344 rats

Dike N. Kalu, Robert R. Hardin, Richard Cockerham, Byung P. Yu, Barry K. Norling, John W. Egan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Studies were carried out on male F344 rats to examine the influence of aging and life-prolonging food restriction on bone and circulating parathyroid hormone levels. In ad libitum fed animals, the weight, density and calcium content of the femur increased with age and achieved their peak levels by 12 months of age. These levels remained stable until about 24 months and by 27 months of age the ad libitum fed animals had lost appreciable amounts of bone. The maturation of the femurs of the animals maintained on 60% of the ad libitum food intake was delayed and their bones were lighter, less dense and contained less calcium than bones from ad libitum fed rats of corresponding ages. But at 6, 12 and 24 months of age, the femur strength to body weight ratios were very highly significantly greater (P < 0.0001) for the restricted animals compared to the ad libitum fed controls. Circulating immunoreactive parathyroid hormone increased progressively with aging in the animals fed ad libitum and the animals that experienced bone loss at advanced age also had the highest level of the hormone. In contrast, in the food restricted animals aging was not associated with a marked increase in serum parathyroid hormone or with senile bone loss. The data are discussed in relation to the mechanism of the observed changes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-112
Number of pages10
JournalMechanisms of Ageing and Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1984


  • Aging: Food restriction
  • Bone loss
  • Parathyroid hormone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Developmental Biology


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