Preexisting bone loss associated with ovariectomy in rats is reversed by parathyroid hormone

Chung C. Liu, Dike N. Kalu, Elena Salerno, Rosanno Echon, Bruce W. Hollis, Michelle Ray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


Previous studies have demonstrated that when parathyroid hormone (PTH) administration to rats is started immediately following ovariectomy, it prevents bone loss due to ovarian hormone deficiency. In this study, we examined whether bone loss induced by ovariectomy could be reversed by pasrathyroid hormone if hormone therapy is started after the bone loss had already occurred. In the first experiment, two groups of animals were ovariectomized or sham operated, killed after 40 days, and their bones examined to ensure that bone loss occurred. In the second experiment, three groups of rats were studied. Group 1 rats were sham operated, and rats in groups 2 and 3 were ovariectomized. Each rat in group 3 received a single subcutaneous injection of 8 μg parathyroid hormone [hPTH‐(1–34); Bachem, CA] per 100 g body weight per day, starting 40 days following ovariectomy. Rats in groups 1 and 2 received solvent vehicle, and all animals were sacrificed on day 60. Ovariectomized rats had lost an appreciable amount of bone 40 days after surgery, as indicated by a significant decrease in femoral and vertebral densities and calcium and an over 55% loss of cancellous bone in the tibial metaphysis. The loss of bone was reversed by intermittent PTH administration. Increased cancellous bone in the parathyroid hormone‐treated ovariectomized rats was associated with increased trabecular osteoblasts, decreased trabecular osteoclasts, and increased serum osteocalcin and urinary hydroxyproline. Our findings indicate that parathyroid hormone can substantially augment bone mass after the loss due to ovarian hormone deficiency has already occurred. The hormone caused positive bone balance in vivo in ovarian hormone‐deficient animals by increasing bone formation and decreasing bone resorption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1071-1080
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Bone and Mineral Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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