Original Article

Preventive effects of ginsenosides on osteopenia of rats induced by ovariectomy

Liao Cui, Tie Wu, Xiao-Qing Liu, Qing-Nan Li, Lu-Sheng Lin, Nian-Ci Liang


Aim: To determine the effect of ginsenosides (GSL) on ovariectomized rats by analysis of cancellous bone histomorphometry.
Methods: Forty Sprague-Dawley female rats at age of 3 months were sham-operated (Sham, n = 8) and treated orally with vehicle, or ovariectomized (OVX, n = 32 which were divided into three group with n = 8 per group) and treated orally with either vehicle, 17alpha-ethynylestradiol (EE, 100 microg . kg-1 . d-1), or ginsenosides (GSL) at 100 or 300 mg . kg-1 . d-1 for 10 weeks. Double in vivo fluorochrome labeling was administrated. The undecalcified longitudinal proximal tibial metaphyseal sections were cut and stained with Goldner's Trichrome (4-micron thickness) or unstained (8-micron thickness) for the bone histomorphometric analysis.
Results: After 10 weeks post OVX the cancellous bone mass was lost markedly and showed high bone turnover indices (increased bone resorption and formation). EE decreased the resorptive surface and bone formation rate related to bone turnover and prevented bone loss. GSL at the two doses (100 and 300 mg . kg-1 . d-1) reduced the resorptive surfaces as did EE, but did not depress the mineral bone formation. High dose of GSL greatly increased bone mass and had a tendency to decrease bone turnover when compared with OVX group.
Conclusion: GSL partially prevented OVX-induced cancellous bone loss by inhibiting osteoclast bone resorption and by a mild depression of bone turnover.

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