Anabolic effect of prostaglandin E2 on cortical bone of aged male rats comes mainly from modeling-dependent bone gain

Wei Yao, W. S S Jee, H. Zhou, J. Lu, L. Cui, R. Setterberg, T. Liang, Y. Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


In this study, prostaglandin E2 (3 mg/kg per day) was administered to 20-month-old male Wistar rats for 10 and 30 days. Histomorphometric analyses were performed on double-fluorescent-labeled undecalcified tibial shaft sections. Thirty days of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) administration increased bone formation rate/total bone surface from undetectable levels to 0.6 μm/day at the periosteal surface and from 0.5 to 2.1 μm/day at the endocortical surface. Endocortical osteoid surface area increased from 2% to 67% at day 10 and decreased to 6% at day 30; woven and lamellar bone formation started at day 0, but was most obvious at day 30, resulting in a 12% increase of total bone mass. The red to yellow marrow ratio was 0.2 in pretreatment controls, and increased to 1.6 by day 10 and 2.4 by day 30 with PGE2 administration. Intracortical cavity number and area increased after 10 days of PGE2 treatment, but with forming osteon number and area far exceeding those of resorption cavities at day 30. Endocortical modeling surface/endocortical surface was only 1.5%, and remodeling was 11.1% in pretreatment controls. PGE2 treatment increased modeling to 24.5% in the 10 day group and 93.7% in the 30 day group, whereas remodeling remained unchanged at 10 days, and decreased to 6.2% at 30 days. Osteoprogenitor cells and osteoblasts could not be detected in pretreatment controls, but increased by day 10, and returned almost to control levels by 30 days. Our data indicate that PGE2 induced periosteal and endocortical bone formation mainly by modeling-dependent bone gain, accompanied by increases in intracortical remodeling and red bone marrow, and a transient increase in the osteoprogenitor cells adjacent to the endocortical surface. These findings suggest that 20-month-old male Wistar rats were very responsive to the anabolic action of PGE2 in the tibial shaft, a site consisting mainly of cortical bone and yellow marrow. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)697-702
Number of pages6
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Bone formation
  • Cortical bone
  • Male rats
  • Modeling
  • Prostaglandin estradiol (PGE)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hematology


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