Treatment with the combination of ibandronate plus eldecalcitol has a synergistic effect on inhibition of bone resorption without suppressing bone formation in ovariectomized rats.

PMID 26281770


Bisphosphonates are widely used in the treatment of osteoporosis and contribute to the reduction of bone fractures. Ibandronate (IBN) is a highly potent, nitrogen-containing bisphosphonate, which is administered orally or intravenously at extended dosing intervals. Vitamin D or active vitamin D3 derivatives are also used in the treatment of osteoporosis, and are often used in combination with other drugs. In this study, we investigated the effect of treatment with the combination of once-monthly s.c. dosing of IBN plus once-daily oral eldecalcitol (ELD), an active vitamin D3 derivative, using aged ovariectomized (OVX) rats. Treatment was started the day after OVX, and analyses were performed 4, 8, and 12 weeks thereafter by determination of bone markers, bone mineral density, biomechanical properties, and histomorphometry. The combination treatment showed a synergistic effect in increasing both lumbar and femoral BMD, and resulted in a significant increase in bone ultimate load. The combination of IBN plus ELD acted synergistically to reduce bone resorption, whereas bone formation did not decrease any more than with monotherapy with either IBN or ELD. Bone formation independent of bone resorption (a process known as 'minimodeling') was not changed in vehicle treated OVX rats despite the increase in bone turnover. ELD upregulated minimodeling, which was however not diminished in the combination treatment. In conclusion, treatment with the combination of IBN plus ELD was beneficial in the treatment of osteoporosis in aged OVX rats. It exhibited a synergistic inhibitory effect on bone resorption and keeps bone formation at the level of sham controls. This uncoupling of bone resorption/bone formation was affected, to some extent, by minimodeling-based bone formation which is independent of bone resorption. This combination regimen which showed synergistic effect on BMD and bone ultimate load without inhibition of bone formation may be beneficial in long-term osteoporosis treatment to prevent bone fractures.