This study monitored in vivo the effect on bone microarchitecture of initiating antiresorptive treatment with zoledronic acid in rats at 2 weeks following ovariectomy, an early phase at which major degenerative bone changes have been found to occur. The treatment still facilitated the full reversal of cancellous bone loss in rat tibia, highlighting the importance of the time point of initiation of antiresorptive treatment. Introduction: Injection of zoledronic acid in rats at time of ovariectomy has been found to fully preserve tibial bone microarchitecture over time, whereas injection at 8 weeks after ovariectomy has shown partial bone recovery. This study investigated the effect on microarchitecture of initiating antiresorptive treatment in the early phase following ovariectomy, at 2 weeks, a time point at which major degenerative changes in the bone have been found to occur. Methods: Female Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into ovariectomized group, ovariectomized group treated with zoledronic acid, and sham-operated group. In vivo micro-CT scanning of rat tibiae and morphometric analysis were performed at 0, 2, 4, 8, and 12 weeks after ovariectomy, with zoledronic acid treatment beginning 2 weeks after ovariectomy. Data were first analyzed with repeated measures analysis of variance (longitudinal study design) and then without repeated measures (cross-sectional study design). Results: The ovariectomized group demonstrated dramatic bone loss, first detected at week 2. Conversely, at week 4, the zoledronic acid-treated group returned microstructural parameters to baseline values. Remarkable increases in bone parameters were found after 6 weeks of treatment and maintained similar to sham group until the end. The longitudinal study design provided earlier detection of bone changes compared to the cross-sectional study design. Conclusions: Treatment with zoledronic acid as late as 2 weeks after ovariectomy still facilitates the full reversal of cancellous bone loss in the rat tibia.
- Bone structure
- In vivo microcomputed tomography
- Rat ovariectomy
- Zoledronic acid