Low dose aspirin therapy decreases blood glucose levels but does not prevent type i diabetes-induced bone loss

Cell Physiol Biochem. 2011;28(5):923-32. doi: 10.1159/000335806. Epub 2011 Dec 15.


Background: Diabetes is strongly associated with increased fracture risk. During T1-diabetes onset, levels of blood glucose and pro-inflammatory cytokines (including TNFα) are increased. At the same time, levels of osteoblast markers are rapidly decreased and stay decreased 40 days later at which point bone loss is clearly evident. Inflammation is known to suppress bone formation and induce bone loss. Previous co-culture studies indicate that diabetic bone is inflamed and diabetic bone marrow is capable of enhancing osteoblast death in vitro. Here we investigate a commonly used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, aspirin, to prevent T1-diabetic bone loss in vivo.

Methods: We induced diabetes in 16-week-old male C57BL/6 mice and administered aspirin in the drinking water.

Results: Our results demonstrate that aspirin therapy reduced diabetic mouse non-fasting blood glucose levels to less than 400 mg/dl, but did not prevent trabecular and cortical bone loss. In control mice, aspirin treatment increased bone formation markers but did not affect markers of bone resorption or bone density/volume. In diabetic mice, bone formation markers and bone density/volume are decreased and unaltered by aspirin treatment. Bone resorption markers, however, are increased and 2-way ANOVA analysis demonstrates an interaction between aspirin treatment and diabetes (p<0.007). Aspirin treatment did not prevent the previously reported diabetes-induced marrow adiposity.

Conclusion: Taken together, our results suggest that low dose aspirin therapy does not negatively impact bone density in control and diabetic mice, but could potentially increase bone resorption in T1-diabetic mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adiposity / drug effects
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / pharmacology*
  • Aspirin / pharmacology*
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Bone Marrow / drug effects
  • Bone Marrow / pathology
  • Bone Resorption / prevention & control*
  • Bone and Bones / drug effects*
  • Bone and Bones / pathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / pathology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Osteocalcin / genetics
  • Osteocalcin / metabolism
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Blood Glucose
  • Osteocalcin
  • Aspirin