The role of bone cells in increasing metaphyseal hard tissue in rapidly growing rats treated with prostaglandin E2

Bone. 1987;8(3):171-8. doi: 10.1016/8756-3282(87)90017-2.


The skeletal effects of graded doses of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) given to weanling Sprague-Dawley rats for 3 weeks were investigated to elucidate the role of bone cells in increasing hard tissue mass. Decalcified (3 micron) sections were quantified in the light microscope by point hit and intersect counting using a Merz grid. Hard tissue mass (bone and calcified cartilage) and osteoblast, osteoclast and osteoprogenitor cell numbers were counted in metaphyseal tissue bands 0.24, 0.48, 0.72, 1.20, 1.68, 2.16, 2.64, 3.12, 3.60 and 4.08 mm from the growth plate metaphyseal junction. Changes were different and more marked in the secondary spongiosa than the primary spongiosa of the proximal tibial metaphysis of treated rats. In the primary spongiosa of rats treated with 3 or 6 mg PGE2/kg/d (1) an increase in bone and hard tissue masses and (2) a decrease in osteoclasts, osteoprogenitor cell numbers and surface to volume ratio was observed. In the secondary spongiosa (lower metaphysis) of rats treated with 2 same dose levels (1) an increase in bone mass, calcified cartilage cores, and hard tissue mass and perimeter, an elevation of osteoprogenitor cell and osteoblast numbers, a depression of osteoclast, osteoclast nuclei numbers and surface to volume ratio and new sites of intramembranous ossification (woven bone formation) originating from the cortico-endosteal envelope was observed. In this growing rat skeletal model, we showed that PGE2 increases metaphyseal calcified tissue mass by depressing hard tissue resorption and stimulating the replication and differentiation of osteoblast precursors to form new foci of woven bone.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Development / drug effects*
  • Bone and Bones / cytology*
  • Bone and Bones / drug effects
  • Dinoprostone
  • Prostaglandins E / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Weaning


  • Prostaglandins E
  • Dinoprostone