Pharmacological therapy of osteoporosis reduces bone loss and risk of fracture in patients. Modulation of bone mineral density cannot explain all effects. Other aspects of bone quality affecting fragility and ways to monitor them need to be better understood. Keratinous tissue acts as surrogate marker for bone protein deterioration caused by oestrogen deficiency in rats. Ovariectomised rats were treated with alendronate (ALN), parathyroid hormone (PTH) or estrogen (E2). MicroCT assessed macro structural changes. Raman spectroscopy assessed biochemical changes. Micro CT confirmed that all treatments prevented ovariectomy-induced macro structural bone loss in rats. PTH induced macro structural changes unrelated to ovariectomy. Raman analysis revealed ALN and PTH partially protect against molecular level changes to bone collagen (80% protection) and mineral (50% protection) phases. E2 failed to prevent biochemical change. The treatments induced alterations unassociated with the ovariectomy; increased beta sheet with E2, globular alpha helices with PTH and fibrous alpha helices with both ALN and PTH. ALN is closest to maintaining physiological status of the animals, while PTH (comparable protective effect) induces side effects. E2 is unable to prevent molecular level changes associated with ovariectomy. Raman spectroscopy can act as predictive tool for monitoring pharmacological therapy of osteoporosis in rodents. Keratinous tissue is a useful surrogate marker for the protein related impact of these therapies. The results demonstrate utility of surrogates where a clear systemic causation connects the surrogate to the target tissue. It demonstrates the need to assess broader biomolecular impact of interventions to examine side effects. [Figure not available: see full text.].


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1573-4838; 0957-4530

Document Type

Article - Journal

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Final Version

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Publication Date

01 Feb 2019

PubMed ID