Bone anabolic effects of basic fibroblast growth factor in ovariectomized rats.Endocrinology. 1999 Dec; 140(12):5780-8.E
The purpose of this study was to characterize the bone anabolic effects of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) in ovariectomized (OVX) rats. Female Sprague Dawley rats were subjected to ovariectomy or sham surgery at 3 months of age and maintained untreated for 2 months post surgery. Groups of OVX rats were then treated iv with bFGF at doses of 100 or 200 microg/kg day for 7 or 14 days. Another group of OVX rats and a group of sham-operated control rats were treated iv with vehicle alone for 14 days. Certain groups of bFGF-treated OVX rats were killed at 7 or 14 days after withdrawal of treatment. The right tibiae were processed undecalcified for quantitative bone histomorphometry. Vehicle-treated OVX rats were characterized by decreased cancellous bone volume associated with increased bone turnover. Treatment of OVX rats with bFGF strongly stimulated bone formation, as indicated by marked increases of at least a factor of 10 in osteoblast surface, osteoid surface, and osteoid volume. Furthermore, new osteoid spicules were observed within the marrow cavity of these animals. Osteoclast surface was markedly decreased in bFGF-treated OVX rats, but this finding may be secondary to the extensive osteoid surface. The strongest bone anabolic effects occurred in OVX rats treated with the higher dose of bFGF for 14 days, but these animals exhibited a bone mineralization defect, as evidenced by abundant osteoid and a lack of double fluorochrome labeling, despite markedly increased osteoblast surface. However, the newly-formed osteoid rapidly calcified after withdrawal of bFGF treatment. The data indicate that bFGF not only stimulates bone formation on pre-existing bone surfaces but also induces de novo formation of bone spicules within the marrow cavity, which results in partial restoration of lost cancellous bone mass in osteopenic OVX rats after only 14 days of treatment with the growth factor. These findings suggest that bFGF merits consideration for development as a potential treatment for patients with severe osteopenia who are unresponsive to conventional osteoporosis therapies.