In intact growing rats, intermittent administration of low doses of PTH increases bone mass. As gonadal hormones are considered to be essential for normal bone growth, the anabolic effect of PTH may be mediated or modified by these hormones. The objective of this research was to determine if the anabolic effect of PTH would be altered in female ovariectomized (OVX) and male orchidectomized (ORCHX) rats. Two weeks after ovariectomy, orchidectomy, or sham operations, 5-week-old rats (eight per group) were given daily sc injections of human PTH (1–34) (8 μg/100 g) or vehicle. After 12 days of treatment, all rats were killed; castration was confirmed, and sera, femurs, tibias, and kidneys were collected. Calcium (Ca) and dry weight (DW) of trabecular and cortical bone of distal half-femurs were measured. Female OVX rats were osteopenic compared to their shamoperateJ controls, as the bone mass of distal femurs decreased while body weight increased. In PTH-treated females, total bone Ca and DW per 100 g BW increased significantly by 16% and 21%, respectively, in sham-operated rats and by 21% and 25%, respectively, in OVX rats compared to the appropriate control values. ORCHX rats were also osteopenic, as the bone mass of distal femurs was significantly decreased compared to that in sham-operated males. However, as body weight also decreased, the bone mass per unit BW was not altered. In PTH-treated males, total bone Ca and DW per 100 g BW increased significantly by 34% and 25%, respectively, in sham-operated rats by 32% and 29%, respectively, in ORCHX rats compared to their appropriate control values. Serum Ca, creatinine, and alkaline phosphatase levels were normal and comparable in all rats. We conclude that PTH increased bone mass in control, OVX, and ORCHX rats, and the anabolic response to PTH is not dependent on gonadal hormones.
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