Calcified tissue international vol:59 issue:4 pages:315-20
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of intermittent calcitonin on femoral bone quality in adult ewes from the time of ovariectomy. Six months after the start of the experiment, bone density measurements and mechanical testing (torsion and resonant frequency analysis of the diaphysis and compression of an excised trabecular bone cylinder from the femoral neck) were performed in sham-control and ovariectomized (OVX) ewes treated with placebo or salmon calcitonin (50 or 100 units, 3 times/week). Crystallinity of bone was evaluated by measuring X-ray diffraction line broadening. After OVX, a nonsignificant bone loss was found at all measured sites in the femur (-3 to -9%) together with a decreased biomechanical competence in the trabecular bone (compressive strain -28%, P < 0.05). Treatment with salmon calcitonin, 50 or 100 IU subcutaneously three times a week from the time of ovariectomy, resulted in a significant dose-dependent preservation of bone strength in the trabecular bone of the femoral neck compared with OVX. No adverse effects of calcitonin were observed on bone crystal composition as assessed by diffractiometry. We conclude that in adult ewes intermittent calcitonin treatment from the time of OVX was associated with a significant preservation of cancellous bone strength and strain in trabecular bone of the femoral neck, without affecting crystalline properties of bone.