Sclerostin Antibody Reverses Bone Loss by Increasing Bone Formation and Decreasing Bone Resorption in a Rat Model of Male Osteoporosis

Xiaodong Li, Michael S Ominsky, Kelly S Villasenor, Qing-Tian Niu, Frank J Asuncion, Xuechun Xia, Mario Grisanti, Thomas J Wronski, W Scott Simonet, Hua Zhu Ke
Endocrinology 2018 January 1, 159 (1): 260-271
Sclerostin antibody (Scl-Ab) restored bone mass and strength in the ovariectomized rat model of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Increased bone mineral density (BMD) and decreased skeletal fragility fracture risk have been reported in postmenopausal osteoporotic women receiving Scl-Ab. In males, loss of androgen leads to rapid decreases in BMD and an increased risk of fragility fractures. We hypothesized that Scl-Ab could reverse the loss of bone mass and strength caused by androgen ablation in the orchiectomized (ORX) rat model of male osteoporosis. We treated 9-month-old ORX Sprague Dawley rats (3 months after ORX) subcutaneously twice weekly with vehicle or Scl-Ab (5 or 25 mg/kg) for 6 weeks (n = 10 per group). Both doses of Scl-Ab fully reversed the BMD deficit in the lumbar spine and femur and tibia in ORX rats. Microcomputed tomography showed that the bone mass in the fifth lumbar vertebral body, femur diaphysis, and femoral neck were dose-dependently restored by Scl-Ab. The bone strength at these sites increased significantly with Scl-Ab to levels matching those of sham-operated controls and correlated positively with improvements in bone mineral content, demonstrating bone quality maintenance. Dynamic histomorphometry of the tibial diaphysis and second lumbar vertebral body demonstrated that Scl-Ab significantly increased bone formation on periosteal, endocortical, and trabecular surfaces and significantly decreased bone resorption on endocortical and trabecular surfaces. The effects of Scl-Ab on increasing bone formation and decreasing bone resorption led to restoration of bone mass and strength in androgen-deficient rats. These findings support the ongoing evaluation of Scl-Ab as a potential therapeutic agent for osteoporosis in men.

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