Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the effect of manganese (Mn) alone and with the addition of copper (Cu) in the inhibition of osteopenia induced by ovariectomy (OVX) in rats. STUDY CONDITIONS: Four lots of 100-day-old female Wistar rats were divided into experimental groups of 15 each. One group received a diet supplemented with 40 mg/kg of Mn per kilogram of feed (OVX+Mn). The second group received the same diet as the first, but with an additional 15 mg/kg of copper (OVX+Mn+Cu). The third group of 15 OVX and the fourth group of 15 Sham-OVX received no supplements. At the conclusion of the 30-day experiment, the rats were slaughtered and their femurs and fifth lumbar vertebrae were dissected. Femoral and vertebral length were measured with caliper and bones were weighed on a precision balance. The bone mineral content (BMC) and bone density (BMD) of the femur (F-BMC, mg and F-BMD, mg/cm(2)) and the fifth lumbar vertebra (V-BMC, mg and V-BMD, mg/cm(2)) were measured separately with dual energy X-ray absorptiometry.
Results: The F-BMD, mg/cm(2) was lower in the OVX than in the Sham-OVX group (P<0.0001) and in the other two groups receiving mineral supplements (P<0.005 in both). F-BMC, mg was significantly lower in the OVX group than in the other three (P<0.0001 in all cases). Calculations for V-BMC, mg and V-BMD, mg/cm(2) are similar to findings in the femur.
Conclusions: These data show that a Mn supplement is an effective inhibitor of loss of bone mass after OVX, both on the axial and the peripheral levels, although this effect is not enhanced with the addition of Cu.