Bone, Joint & Cartilage Diseases

Models of Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is an age-related disease caused by the imbalance of bone formation and bone resorption. Postmenopausal osteoporosis and glucocorticoid induced osteoporosis are the major types of osteoporosis in humans. Greentech Bioscience offers animal models for osteoporosis to accelerate drug development.

Animal Models for Osteoporosis

Greentech Bioscience offers several animal models of osteoporosis for in vivo pharmacological studies, ensuring reliable and robust data. Our experimental models are well-established and efficacy studies are conducted in compliance with GLP requirements.

1. Ovariectomy (OVX) Induced Primary Osteoporosis Model

Ovariectomized rats have been recognized as the gold standard for studies of postmenopausal osteoporosis. FDA recommends that the preclinical pharmacology studies of postmenopausal osteoporosis should be conducted in the ovariectomized rats and in a larger ovariectomized non-rodent species. Female OVX rats produce cancellous bone mass loss and increased bone turnover, replicating the pathophysiology of patients with postmenopausal osteoporosis.

2. Glucocorticoid Induced Secondary Osteoporosis Model

Glucocorticoids are used to treat inflammatory and rheumatic diseases despite their side effects. Glucocorticoid induced osteoporosis is the leading cause of secondary osteoporosis by altering the formation/resorption balance. In preclinical studies, glucocorticoid treated animals are well-established for in vivo efficacy testing of therapies against glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis.

Animal Species

Rats, rabbits, non-human primates

Clinical Assessment

(1) micro-CT: bone mineral density (BMD), trabecular number (Tb.N), trabecular separation (Tb.Sp), trabecular thickness (Tb.Th), Bone volume fraction (BV/TV)

(2) Biomechanics: three-point bending, compression test

(3) Boner turnover markers:

Bone formation markers: osteocalcin (OC), Pro-Collagen I C-Terminal Propeptide (PICP), procollagen type I N-propeptide (PINP), bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BSAP), etc.

Bone resorption markers: cross-linked telopeptides (NTx/CTx), pyridinoline (PYD), Deoxypyridinoline (DPD)

Case Study

Ovariectomized rat model of osteoporosis

Micro-CT scanning of the rat tibia 12 weeks after ovariectomy in rats.png

Figure 1. Micro-CT scanning of the rat tibia 12 weeks after ovariectomy in rats.


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1. FDA Guidance Document: Osteoporosis: Nonclinical Evaluation of Drugs Intended for Treatment-Guidance for Industry. August 2019.

2. Komori T.Animal models for osteoporosis.[J].Eur J Pharmacol,2015,:287-94.

3. Xavier A,Toumi H,Lespessailles E.Animal Model for Glucocorticoid Induced Osteoporosis: A Systematic Review from 2011 to 2021.[J].Int J Mol Sci,1970,1:.