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. 2018;39(3):131-139.
doi: 10.2220/biomedres.39.131.

Effects of the Calcineurin Inhibitors Cyclosporine and Tacrolimus on Bone Metabolism in Rats

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Effects of the Calcineurin Inhibitors Cyclosporine and Tacrolimus on Bone Metabolism in Rats

Junkichi Kanda et al. Biomed Res. .
Free article


Immunosuppressive therapy is considered as one of the factors inducing to the onset of osteoporosis after organ transplantation. Chronic immunosuppressive therapy after transplantation is required for organ transplant patients, and it is important to prevent the occurrence of osteoporotic fractures to maintain the quality of life in patients. In this study, we examined the effects of cyclosporine and tacrolimus on bone metabolism in rats. Five-week-old male Wistar rats were treated orally with 15 mg/kg cyclosporine or 1.5 mg/kg tacrolimus daily for 4 weeks. Each of cyclosporine and tacrolimus significantly reduced the bone strength of the femoral mid-diaphysis and bone mineral density of the tibia and femur. Bone histomorphometry showed that the administration of both drugs resulted in a decrease in bone volume, number and thickness of trabeculae, and an increase in trabecular separation. Bone formation parameters such as osteoid volume, osteoblast surface, mineralizing surface, mineral apposition rate, and bone formation rate significantly increased in the cyclosporine-treated group. Bone resorption parameters such as eroded surface, osteoclast surface, and osteoclast number significantly increased in both the cyclosporine- and the tacrolimus- treated groups. These results showed that cyclosporine increases both bone formation and bone resorption, leading to a high-turnover bone loss, and that tacrolimus increases bone resorption without affecting bone formation, leading to bone loss.

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