Objective: Surgical removal of the stomach (gastrectomy, Gx) leads to osteopenia in animals and in humans. In the rat, Gx adversely affects calvaria and trabecular bone. alpha-Ketoglutarate (AKG) is a precursor of hydroxyproline--the most abundant amino acid in bone collagen. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of dietary AKG on Gx-induced osteopenia.
Material and methods: Twenty female Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to Gx and divided between two groups: Gx+AKG in the drinking water and Gx+Vehicle (i.e. drinking water without AKG). Another 20 rats were sham-operated and divided between two groups: Sham+AKG and Sham+Vehicle. The daily dose of AKG was 0.43 g per 100 g rat. All the rats were killed 8 weeks later and the calvariae, femora and tibiae were collected. The integrity of the calvariae was analysed planimetrically, following transillumination and photography. The bone mineral content (BMC) and bone mineral density (BMD) were measured in the right femorae and tibiae (bone densitometry), leaving the left femorae and tibiae to be analysed histomorphometrically (measurement of trabecular bone volume and trabecular fractal dimension).
Results: Gx caused calvarial bone degradation, reduced trabecular bone (femur and tibia) and impaired trabecular architecture. In addition, Gx lowered the femoral/tibial BMC and BMD (mainly cortical bone). Dietary AKG counteracted the Gx-evoked impairment of calvaria and trabecular bone but failed to affect the BMC and the BMD in either sham- operated or Gx rats.
Conclusions: Gx resulted in loss of calvarial, trabecular and cortical bone in the rat. AKG counteracted the effect of Gx on calvaria and trabecular bone but not on cortical bone.