Since the in vitro and in vivo anti-osteoporotic effects of Pueraria mirifica (PM) in rodents have been verified, its activity in menopausal monkeys was evaluated as required before it can be applicable for human use. In this study, postmenopausal osteoporotic monkeys were divided into two groups (five per group), and fed daily with standard diet alone (PMP0 group) or diet mixed with 1000 mg/kg body weight (BW) of PM powder (PMP1000 group) for 16 months. Every 2 months, the bone mineral density (BMD), bone mineral content (BMC) and bone geometry parameters (cortical area and thickness and periosteal and endosteal circumference) at the distal radius and proximal tibia were determined using peripheral quantitative computed tomography together with plasma and urinary bone markers. Compared with the baseline (month 0) values, the cortical, but not trabecular, BMDs and BMCs and the cortical area and thickness at the metaphysis and diaphysis of the radius and tibia of the PMP0 group continuously decreased during the 16-month study period. In contrast, PMP1000 treatment ameliorated the bone loss mainly at the cortical diaphysis by decreasing bone turnover, as indicated by the lowered plasma bone-specific alkaline phosphatase and osteocalcin levels. Generally, changes in the cortical bone geometry were in the opposite direction to the cortical bone mass after PMP1000 treatment. This study indicated that postmenopausal monkeys continuously lose their cortical bone compartment, and they have a higher possibility for long bone fractures. Oral PMP treatment could improve both the bone quantity (BMC and BMD) and quality (bone geometry).
Keywords: Pueraria mirifica; cynomolgus monkeys; estrogen deficiency; osteoporosis.
© 2016 Society for Endocrinology.