RANKL is downregulated in bone cells by physical activity (treadmill and vibration stimulation training) in rat with glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis

Histol Histopathol. 2013 Sep;28(9):1185-96. doi: 10.14670/HH-28.1185. Epub 2013 Apr 4.


The aim of this study was to investigate bone tissue and plasma levels of RANKL and OPG in rats with prednisolone-induced osteoporosis and to evaluate the outcomes of physical activity on the skeletal system by treadmill and vibration platform training. Osteoporosis is a disease characterised by low bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue leading to bone fragility. Vibration exercise is a new and effective measure to prevent muscular atrophy and osteoporosis. The animals were divided into 5 groups. 1: control rats; 2: rats with osteoporosis receiving prednisolone; 3: rats receiving prednisolone and treadmill training; 4: rats receiving prednisolone and vibration stimulation training; 5: rats receiving prednisolone, treadmill and vibration stimulation training. For bone evaluations we used whole-body scans, histology and histomorphometric analysis. RANKL and OPG expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry and biochemical analysis. After treatment, our data demonstrated that RANKL expression was significantly increased in groups 2 and 3 and decreased in groups 4 and 5. Conversely, OPG expression was significantly decreased in groups 2 and 3 and increased in groups 4 and 5. In conclusion, our findings suggest that mechanical stimulation inhibits the activity of RANKL. This finding provides new insights into the occurrence and progression of osteoporosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Composition
  • Body Weight
  • Bone Density
  • Disease Progression
  • Down-Regulation*
  • Glucocorticoids / adverse effects*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Osteoporosis / chemically induced
  • Osteoporosis / metabolism*
  • Osteoprotegerin / metabolism
  • Physical Conditioning, Animal*
  • RANK Ligand / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Vibration


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Osteoprotegerin
  • RANK Ligand
  • Tnfrsf11b protein, rat