Estrogen and "exercise" have a synergistic effect in preventing bone loss in the lumbar vertebra and femoral neck of the ovariectomized rat

C. Y. Li, W. S S Jee, J. L. Chen, A. Mo, R. B. Setterberg, M. Su, X. Y. Tian, Y. F. Ling, Wei Yao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Scopus citations


This study was designed to study the individual or combined effects of estrogen and bipedal stance "exercise" on the lumbar vertebral body (LVB) and femoral neck (FN). At 6 months of age, six rats were sacrificed as baseline controls and all the others were either bilateral sham-ovariectomized or ovariectomized (OVX). Groups of OVX rats were housed in normal height cage (NC, 28 cm) or raised height cages (RC, 33 cm) and received biweekly s.c. injections of 10 μg/kg 17β estradiol (E2) or vehicle for 4 and 8 weeks. Histomorphometric measurements were performed on the undecalcified mid-transverse sections of the 4th LVB and FN. Ovariectomy alone induced cancellous bone loss by 21% and 39% in the LVB and FN, respectively; intracortical porosity area of the FN increased by 108% while total bone area did not change significantly because of the periosteal expansion following OVX. E2 alone partially prevented cancellous bone loss in the LVB and FN and prevented increased intracortical porosity area in the FN by reducing eroded surface and activation frequency. RC alone partially prevented the decrease of cancellous bone in the LVB and FN by reducing the bone-eroded surface but increased wall width. E2 plus RC completely preserved cancellous bone by having an additive effect on reducing eroded surface and activation frequency. RC helped to partially prevent decreased periosteal bone formation after estrogen administration. In conclusion, apart from inducing cancellous bone loss in the LVB and FN, OVX also increased intracortical remodeling in the FN. Estrogen prevented the overall activation of remodeling space induced by OVX. Apart from having similar effects as estrogen on remodeling space, RC induced positive bone balance within each remodeling unit. Combination treatment increased total bone mass beyond that of sham-control level by having an additive effect on lowering bone remodeling and increasing wall in both the LVB and FN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-49
Number of pages8
JournalCalcified Tissue International
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003
Externally publishedYes



  • Bipedal stance "exercise"
  • Bone histomorphometry
  • Estrogen
  • Femoral neck
  • Lumbar vertebral body

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology

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