Oral salmon calcitonin reduces Lequesne's algofunctional index scores and decreases urinary and serum levels of biomarkers of joint metabolism in knee osteoarthritis

Arthritis Rheum. 2006 Oct;54(10):3205-11. doi: 10.1002/art.22075.


Objective: To evaluate the effects of oral salmon calcitonin (sCT) on Lequesne's algofunctional index scores and on biomarkers of joint metabolism in knee osteoarthritis.

Methods: In this randomized, double-blind trial, patients received either placebo (n = 18), 0.5 mg of sCT (n = 17), or 1 mg of sCT (n = 18) daily for 84 days. Biomarkers included C-telopeptide of type II collagen (CTX-II), type II collagen neoepitope C2C, collagenases (matrix metalloproteinase 1 [MMP-1], MMP-8, and MMP-13), stromelysin (MMP-3), tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases 1 and 2, and hyaluronan. Statistical analysis included nonparametric tests.

Results: A total of 41 patients completed the study (13 in the group receiving 0.5 mg of sCT and 14 in each of the other 2 other groups). Although, on day 84, patients in both the placebo group and the group receiving 1 mg of sCT exhibited a similar significant decrease in pain scores, a significant reduction in the function score was observed only in the 2 sCT groups. On day 84, there was no significant decrease in biomarker levels in the placebo group, whereas significant reductions in the levels of both MMP-3 and hyaluronan were observed in the 2 sCT groups. The group of patients receiving 1 mg of sCT exhibited significant decreases in the levels of CTX-II, C2C, and MMP-13.

Conclusion: By improving functional disability and by reducing levels of biomarkers that are thought to be predictive of joint space narrowing (and thus cartilage loss), oral sCT at a dose of 1 mg might be a useful pharmacologic agent in human knee OA.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Calcitonin / adverse effects
  • Calcitonin / pharmacology*
  • Collagen Type II / genetics
  • Collagen Type II / metabolism
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronic Acid / genetics
  • Hyaluronic Acid / metabolism
  • Knee Joint / drug effects
  • Knee Joint / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 13 / genetics
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 13 / metabolism
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 3 / genetics
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 3 / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / blood
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / drug therapy*
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / metabolism*
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / urine
  • Pain / etiology
  • Severity of Illness Index*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Biomarkers
  • Collagen Type II
  • salmon calcitonin
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Calcitonin
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 13
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 3