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Combined treatment with a traditional Chinese medicine, Hachimi-jio-gan (Ba-Wei-Di-Huang-Wan) and alendronate improves bone microstructure in ovariectomized rats

Chen, Huayue, Wu, Mishan, Kubo, Kin-ya
Journal of ethnopharmacology 2012 v.142 no.1 pp. 80-85
biomarkers, bone density, bone formation, bone resorption, computer software, image analysis, microstructure, osteoporosis, ovariectomy, rats, recipes, tibia, tomography, traditional medicine, vertebrae
ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Hachimi-jio-gan is one of the most common recipes in traditional Chinese, Japanese and Korean medicines and has been used for preventing and treating various diseases associated with aging, including osteoporosis. AIM OF THE STUDY: The present study was performed to examine the combined effects of a traditional Chinese medicine, Hachimi-jio-gan (HJG) and antiresorptive agent, alendronate (ALN) on ovariectomy-induced bone loss in rats. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Six-month-old female Sprague-Dawley rats were underwent ovariectomy (OVX) or sham operation. Eight weeks later, the OVX rats were treated either with HJG or ALN alone or in combination of both. The skeletal response was evaluated using micro-computed tomography (micro-CT), image analysis software, and biochemical markers. RESULTS: This study demonstrated that treatment with HJG or ALN alone increased trabecular bone volume and bone mineral density (BMD), and partially improved bone microstructure of the proximal tibia and vertebra in OVX rats. Treatment with ALN to OVX rats resulted in significant reduction in both bone resorption and bone formation. Treatment with HJG to OVX rats inhibited bone resorption, with no marked effects on bone formation. Combined treatment of HJG and ALN significantly improved trabecular bone mass and bone microstructure, compared with either agent alone. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that the combined treatment with HJG and ALN has beneficial effects on trabecular bone mass, improving the structural properties of both tibia and vertebra in OVX rats.