Bisphosphonate-induced gastrointestinal mucosal injury is mediated by mitochondrial superoxide production and lipid peroxidation

J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2012 Nov;51(3):196-203. doi: 10.3164/jcbn.12-41. Epub 2012 Sep 5.


Bisphosphonates such as alendronate and risedronate are commonly used for the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis. They have the gastrointestinal adverse effects such as erosions and ulcers in stomach and small intestine. However, the detailed biological mechanism remains to be elucidated. Since alendronate is suggested to increase the risk of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug-related gastropathy, we hypothesized that bisphosphonates and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have the same pathophysiological mechanisms in gastrointestinal mucosa: Bisphosphonates may induce cellular lipid peroxidation by inducing the production of mitochondrial superoxide. We also hypothesized that geranylgeranylacetone, an antiulcer drug, may prevent lipid peroxidation by reducing superoxide production. We treated gastric RGM1 cells and small intestinal IEC6 cells with alendronate or risedronate, and examined cellular injury, lipid peroxidation and superoxide production with specific fluorescent dyes, and underwent electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy to detect the production of superoxide in vitro. The results indicated that bisphosphonates indeed induced cellular injury, cellular lipid peroxidation, and superoxide production. We also demonstrated that the pretreatment of geranylgeranylacetone decreased superoxide production and prevented cellular lipid peroxidation. These results suggested that bisphosphonates, like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, induce lipid peroxidation by producing mitochondrial superoxide, which was prevented by geranylgeranylacetone.

Keywords: bisphosphonates; geranylgeranylacetone; lipid peroxidation; non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs); superoxide.