Simvastatin did not prevent nor restore ovariectomy-induced bone loss in adult rats

Wei Yao, R. Farmer, R. Cooper, P. A. Chmielewski, X. Y. Tian, R. B. Setterberg, Webster S S Jee, M. W. Lundy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Current published results on whether statins have beneficial effects on bone metabolism have been conflicting so far. In order to further investigate if statins were promising candidates for the treatment for osteoporosis, we conducted a study in which rats were ovariectomized (OVX) at 6 months of age, allowed to lose bone for 60 days and followed by oral administration of simvastatin at the dose levels of 0.3-10 mg/kg/d for 60 days. PGE2 (6 mg/kg) was used as a positive control. Study endpoints included bone histomorphometry on the proximal tibial metaphysis (PTM) and the tibial diaphysis (TX), dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry on the right femur and micro computed tomography (μCT) on the 5th lumbar vertebra (LV). After 120 days of OVX, cancellous bone lost by 80% in the PTM and 18% in the LV accompanied by increased bone formation and resorption. Simvastatin at all dose levels did not affect bone volume, bone formation rate and bone erosion surface when compared to 120 day ovariectomized animals at all bone sites studied. By contrast, PGE2 restored cancellous and cortical bone area to sham control levels. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that unlike PGE2, oral administration of simvastatin did not have effects on cancellous or cortical bone formation and resorption; and consequently was not able to prevent further bone loss or restore bone mass in the osteopenic, OVX rats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-283
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Musculoskeletal Neuronal Interactions
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Bone histomorphometry
  • DEXA
  • Micro-CT
  • Ovariectomy
  • Simvastatin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Endocrinology


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