Evaluation of long-term vitamin e insufficiency or excess on bone mass, density, and microarchitecture in rodents

Urszula T. Iwaniec, Russell T. Turner, Brenda J. Smith, Barbara J. Stoecker, Allison Rust, Bo Zhang, Vihas T. Vasu, Kishorchandra Gohil, Carroll E Cross, Maret G. Traber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


High dietary α-tocopherol levels reportedly result in osteopenia in growing rats, whereas α-tocopherol deficiency in α-tocopherol transfer protein-knockout (α-TTP-KO) mice results in increased cancellous bone mass. Because osteoporosis is a disease associated primarily with aging, we hypothesized that age-related bone loss would be attenuated in α-TTP-KO mice. Cancellous and cortical bone mass and microarchitecture were assessed using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and micro-computed tomography in 2-year-old α-TTP-KO and wild-type (WT) male and female mice fed dl-α-tocopherol acetate. In contrast to our expectations, differences in cancellous bone were not detected between WT and α-TTP-KO mice of either gender, and α-TTP-KO males had lower (p<0.05) cortical bone mass than WT males. We therefore evaluated bone mass, density, and microarchitecture in proximal femur of skeletally mature (8.5-month-old) male Sprague-Dawley rats fed diets containing low (15 IU/kg diet), adequate (75 IU/kg diet), or high (500 IU/kg diet) dl-α-tocopherol acetate for 13 weeks. Low dietary α-tocopherol did not increase bone mass. Furthermore, no reductions in cancellous or cortical bone mass were detected with high dietary α-tocopherol. Failure to detect increased bone mass in aged α-TTP-KO mice or bone changes in skeletally mature rats fed either low or high levels of α-tocopherol does not support the hypothesis that α-tocopherol has a negative impact on bone mass, density, or microarchitecture in rodents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1209-1214
Number of pages6
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
StatePublished - 2013


  • Free radicals
  • Osteoporosis
  • Oxidative stress
  • Rodent
  • Skeleton
  • Vitamin E

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology (medical)
  • Biochemistry


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