Osteoprotective effect of propranolol in ovariectomized rats: A comparison with zoledronic acid and alfacalcidol

Deepak Kumar Khajuria, Rema Razdan, D. Roy Mahapatra, M. R. Bhat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Background: Currently β-adrenergic receptor blockers are considered to be potential drugs under investigation for preventive or therapeutic effect in osteoporosis. However, there is no published data showing the comparative study of β-blockers with well accepted agents for the treatment of osteoporosis. To address this question, we compared the effects of propranolol with well accepted treatments like zoledronic acid and alfacalcidol in an animal model of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Methods: Five days after ovariectomy, 36 ovariectomized (OVX) rats were divided into 6 equal groups, randomized to treatments zoledronic acid (100 μg/kg, intravenous single dose); alfacalcidol (0.5 μg/kg, oral gauge daily); propranolol (0.1 mg/kg, subcutaneously 5 days per week) for 12 weeks. Untreated OVX and sham OVX were used as controls. At the end of treatment serum calcium and alkaline phosphatase were assayed. Femurs were removed and tested for bone density, bone porosity, bone mechanical properties and trabecular micro-architecture. Results: Propranolol showed a significant decrease in alkaline phosphatase levels and bone porosity in comparison to OVX control. Moreover, propranolol significantly improved bone density, bone mechanical properties and inhibited the deterioration of trabecular microarchitecture when compared with OVX control. The osteoprotective effect of propranolol was comparable with zoledronic acid and alfacalcidol. Conclusions: Based on this comparative study, the results strongly suggest that propranolol can be a candidate therapeutic drug for the management of postmenopausal osteoporosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)832-842
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes


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