Influence of ferutinin on bone metabolism in ovariectomized rats. I: role in preventing osteoporosis

J Bone Miner Metab. 2009;27(5):538-45. doi: 10.1007/s00774-009-0070-x. Epub 2009 Mar 31.


Phytoestrogens play a role in maintaining bone mass in the post-menopausal period for their putative function as osteoprotective agents. The aim of the present study was to investigate the influence of Ferutinin, a phytoestrogen found in the plants of Ferula genus, on bone loss in ovariectomized rats. Such an animal model can simulate the various clinical syndromes deriving from osteoporosis. The effect of the daily oral administration of ferutinin to ovariectomized rats (dosed at 2 mg/kg per day for 30 and 60 days) was compared to that of estradiol benzoate (subcutaneously administered at the dose of 1.5 microg/rat twice a week). After the sacrifice, histomorphometrical analyses were performed on trabecular bone of L4-L5 vertebrae and distal femoral metaphysis, as well as on cortical bone of femoral diaphysis; biochemical parameters (bone mineral components and markers) were also evaluated from the rat serum. The histomorphometrical analyses of trabecular and cortical bone from lumbar vertebrae and femur showed that ferutinin has the same antiosteoporotic effect of estradiol benzoate on bone mass, and in some cases is even stronger. This fact suggests that it could prevent osteoporosis caused by severe estrogen deficiency in ovariectomized rats. The possibility of using ferutinin as an alternative to the commonly employed hormonal replacing therapy in post-menopausal women is discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Benzoates / chemistry
  • Benzoates / pharmacology*
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Bone and Bones / cytology
  • Bone and Bones / drug effects*
  • Bone and Bones / metabolism*
  • Bridged Bicyclo Compounds / chemistry
  • Bridged Bicyclo Compounds / pharmacology
  • Cycloheptanes / chemistry
  • Cycloheptanes / pharmacology*
  • Estradiol / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Osteoporosis / blood
  • Osteoporosis / prevention & control*
  • Ovariectomy*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Sesquiterpenes / chemistry
  • Sesquiterpenes / pharmacology*


  • Benzoates
  • Bridged Bicyclo Compounds
  • Cycloheptanes
  • Sesquiterpenes
  • 4-oxy-6-(4-oxybezoyloxy)dauc-8,9-en
  • Estradiol