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Curcumin reduces trabecular and cortical bone in naive and Lewis lung carcinoma-bearing mice

Lin Yan, John A. Yee, Jay Cao
Anticancer research 2013 v.33 no.8 pp. 3153-3162
bone density, bone resorption, chemoprevention, curcumin, dietary supplements, femur, lung neoplasms, metastasis, mice, microstructure, morphometry, osteocalcin, skeleton, vertebrae
The present study investigated the effects of curcumin on bone microstructure in non-tumor-bearing and Lewis lung carcinoma-(LLC)-bearing female C57BL/6 mice. Morphometric analysis showed that dietary supplementation with curcumin (2% or 4%) significantly reduced the bone volume to total volume ratio, connectivity density and trabecular number, and significantly increased the structure model index (an indicator of the plate- and rod-like geometry of trabecular structure) and trabecular separation in vertebral bodies compared to controls in both non-tumor-bearing and LLC-bearing mice. Similar changes in trabecular bone were observed in the femoral bone in curcumin-fed mice. Curcumin significantly reduced the cortical bone area to total area ratio and cortical thickness in femoral mid-shaft, but not in vertebral bodies, in both non-tumor-bearing and LLC-bearing mice. Curcumin feeding reduced plasma concentrations of osteocalcin and increased tartrate-resistant acid phosphate 5b in mice regardless of the presence of LLC, indicating that curcumin disrupts the balance of bone remodeling. Our results demonstrated that curcumin reduced the trabecular bone volume and cortical bone density. The skeleton is a favored site of metastasis for many types of cancers, and curcumin has been investigated in clinical trials in patients with cancer for its chemopreventive effects. Our results suggest the possibility of a combined effect of cancer-induced osteolysis and curcumin-stimulated bone loss in patients using curcumin. The assessment of bone structural changes should be considered for those who participate in curcumin clinical trials to determine its effects on skeleton health, particularly for those with advanced malignancies.