Treatment with parathyroid hormone 1-84 (PTH) or teriparatide increases osteonal remodeling and decreases bone mineral density (BMD) at cortical (Ct) bone sites but may also increase bone size. Decreases in BMD and increases in size exert opposing effects on bone strength. In adult ovariectomized (OVX) rhesus monkeys, we assessed the effects of daily PTH treatment (5, 10 or 25 μg/kg) for 16 months on BMD at the radial, tibial and femoral diaphyses, and on biomechanical properties (3-point bending) of radial cortical bone and the femoral diaphysis. PTH treatment did not affect areal BMD measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry at the tibial diaphysis but caused a rapid, dose-related decrease at the distal radial diaphysis. Peripheral quantitative computed tomography at the radial and femoral diaphyses confirmed a significant PTH dose-related decrease in volumetric Ct.BMD caused primarily by increased cortical area. Significant increases in cortical thickness were the result of nonsignificant increases in periosteal length and decreases in endocortical length. Histomorphometry revealed increased endocortical bone formation at the tibial diaphysis and rib, higher Haversian remodeling at the rib and increased cortical porosity at the rib and tibia. Biomechanical testing at the femoral diaphysis showed that PTH treatment had no effect on peak load, but significantly decreased stiffness and increased work-to-failure (the energy required to break the bone). Similar changes occurred in radial cortical beams but only stiffness was changed significantly. Thus, PTH treatment of OVX rhesus monkeys decreased BMD and stiffness of cortical bone but did not affect peak load, likely because of increased bone size. However, PTH treatment increased the energy required to break the femur making it more resistant to fracture.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism