Phosphodiesterase inhibitors, pentoxifylline and rolipram, increase bone mass mainly by promoting bone formation in normal mice

Bone. 2000 Dec;27(6):811-7. doi: 10.1016/s8756-3282(00)00395-1.


The administration of either Pentoxifylline (PTX), a methylxanthine derivative and an inhibitor of cyclic AMP (c-AMP) phosphodiesterases (PDEs), or Rolipram, an inhibitor specific to type-4 PDE (PDE4) in normal mice, significantly increased both cortical and cancellous bone mass. Vertebrae and tibiae from mice treated with PTX or Rolipram were analyzed by means of bone densitometry and histomorphometry. The results revealed that both PTX and Rolipram increased bone mass in normal mice mainly through the acceleration of bone formation. These findings suggest that both PTX and Rolipram can enhance physiological bone formation and thereby increase bone mass in normal mice. The possibility that these agents may be of value for the treatment of osteoporosis is discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Animals
  • Bone Remodeling / drug effects*
  • Femur / cytology
  • Femur / diagnostic imaging
  • Femur / physiology
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / cytology
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / diagnostic imaging
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / physiology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Parathyroid Hormone / blood
  • Pentoxifylline / pharmacology*
  • Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Rolipram / pharmacology*
  • Tibia / cytology
  • Tibia / diagnostic imaging
  • Tibia / physiology


  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors
  • Rolipram
  • Pentoxifylline