Sympathetic B antagonist prevents bone mineral density decrease induced by labyrinthectomy

Aviakosm Ekolog Med. 2009 Nov-Dec;43(6):36-8.


We previously showed that bilateral vestibular lesion in rats induces a bone loss in weight bearing bones. To determine whether this effect is mediated by the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), bone mineral density (BMD) was measured in 4 groups of 10 female Wistar rats: bilateral labyrinthectomy (Bilab), Bilab with propranolol treatment, sham operated with or withoutpropranolol. In untreated rats, 30 days after lesion Bilab animals showed a reduced BMD in distal femoral metaphysis comparatively to intact rats (p < 0.001). In treated rats, there was no difference in BMD 30 days after lesion. This protective effect of propranolol against bone loss suggests that the vestibular system influence on bone remodeling is mediated by SNS. If this hypothesis is correct, this could have important consequences in devising countermeasures to spaceflight induced bone loss.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / administration & dosage*
  • Animals
  • Bone Density / drug effects
  • Bone Density / physiology*
  • Bone Resorption / metabolism
  • Bone Resorption / prevention & control*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Femur / drug effects
  • Femur / metabolism*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Propranolol / administration & dosage
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Sympathetic Nervous System / drug effects
  • Sympathetic Nervous System / physiopathology
  • Vestibule, Labyrinth / innervation
  • Vestibule, Labyrinth / surgery*


  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists
  • Propranolol