Quercetin Completely Prevents Bone Loss from Glucocorticoids in Rats


Quercetin prevents experimental glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis: a comparative study with alendronate.

Glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis (GIO) is the most common type of secondary osteoporosis. The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy of quercetin, a plant-derived flavonoid, with alendronate in the prevention of GIO. Fifty-six Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly distributed among 7 groups (8 rats per group) and treated for 6 weeks with one of the following: (i) normal saline; (ii) 40 mg methylprednisolone sodium succinate (MP)/kg body mass; (iii) MP + 40 μg alendronate/kg; (iv) MP + 50 mg quercetin/kg; (v) MP + 40 μg alendronate/kg + 50 mg quercetin/kg; (vi) MP + 150 mg quercetin/kg; and (vii) MP + 40 μg alendronate/kg + 150 mg quercetin/kg. MP and alendronate were injected subcutaneously and quercetin was administered by oral gavage 3 days a week. At the end of the study, femur breaking strength was significantly decreased as a consequence of MP injection. This decrease was completely compensated for in groups receiving 50 mg quercetin/kg plus alendronate, and 150 mg quercetin/kg with or without alendronate. Quercetin noticeably elevated osteocalcin as a bone formation marker, while alendronate did not show such an effect. In addition, administration of 150 mg quercetin/kg increased femoral trabecular and cortical thickness by 36% and 22%, respectively, compared with the MP-treated group. These data suggest that 150 mg quercetin/kg, alone or in combination with alendronate, can completely prevent GIO through its bone formation stimulatory effect.

Derakhshanian H, Djalali M, Djazayery A, Nourijelyani K…
Can. J. Physiol. Pharmacol. May 2013
PMID: 23656499