Bisphosphonates are well known inhibitors of osteoclast activity and thus may be employed to influence osteoblast activity. The present study was designed to evaluate the in vivo effects of zoledronic acid (ZA) on the proliferation and osteoblastic commitment of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) in osteoporotic patients. We studied 22 postmenopausal osteoporotic patients. Densitometric, biochemical, cellular and molecular data were collected before as well as after 6 and 12 months of ZA treatment. Peripheral blood MSC-like cells were quantified by colony-forming unit fibroblastic assay; their osteogenic differentiation potential was evaluated after 3 and 7 days of induction, respectively. Circulating MSCs showed significantly increased expression levels of osteoblastic marker genes such as Runt-related transcription factor 2 (RUNX2), and Osteonectin (SPARC) during the 12 months of monitoring time. Lumbar bone mineral density (BMD) variation and SPARC gene expression correlated positively. Bone turnover marker levels were significantly lowered after ZA treatment; the effect was more pronounced for C terminal telopeptide (CTX) than for Procollagen Type 1 N-Terminal Propeptide (P1NP) and bone alkaline phosphatase (bALP). Our findings suggest a discrete anabolic activity supported by osteogenic commitment of MSCs, consequent to ZA treatment. We confirm its anabolic effects in vivo on osteogenic precursors.
Carbonare, L. D., Mottes, M., Malerba, G., Mori, A., Zaninotto, M., Plebani, M., … Valenti, M. T. (2017). Enhanced osteogenic differentiation in zoledronate-treated osteoporotic patients. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 18(6). https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18061261