Bisphosphonate therapy ameliorates hearing loss in mice lacking osteoprotegerin

J Bone Miner Res. 2009 Jan;24(1):43-9. doi: 10.1359/jbmr.080812.


Three auditory ossicles including the malleus, incus, and stapes conduct sound in the middle ear from the tympanic membrane to the inner ear. Auditory ossicles are massively resorbed by osteoclasts in Opg(-/-) mice, which lack osteoprotegerin (OPG), a soluble decoy receptor for the osteoclastogenic cytokine RANKL. Opg(-/-) mice exhibit progressive hearing loss and are a model for juvenile Paget's disease. However, effects of antiresorptive treatment on auditory ossicles and on hearing function in Opg(-/-) mice are unknown. We intraperitoneally injected Opg(-/-) mice with bisphosphonate risedronate 5 d/wk for 9 wk. Morphology of auditory ossicles was examined microscopically, radiographically, and histologically. Hearing function was monitored by measuring the auditory brain stem response (ABR). Control Opg(-/-) mice exhibited thinning of all three ossicles and tibia. In contrast, risedronate treatment significantly inhibited bone loss in auditory ossicles as well as in long bones of Opg(-/-) mice. Bony fusion of the junction between the stapes and the otic capsule was reduced after treatment. Moreover, ABR measurement showed that hearing in Opg(-/-) mice was significantly improved by risedronate treatment. These data suggest that hearing loss in pathologies characterized by excessive resorption of the auditory ossicles may be prevented by bisphosphonates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cochlea / drug effects
  • Cochlea / physiology
  • Diphosphonates / therapeutic use*
  • Etidronic Acid / analogs & derivatives
  • Etidronic Acid / pharmacology
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory, Brain Stem
  • Female
  • Hearing
  • Hearing Loss / drug therapy*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Osteoprotegerin / therapeutic use*
  • Risedronic Acid
  • Time Factors


  • Bone Density Conservation Agents
  • Diphosphonates
  • Osteoprotegerin
  • Risedronic Acid
  • Etidronic Acid