Multiscale effects of the calcimimetic drug, etelcalcetide on bone health of rats with secondary hyperparathyroidism induced by chronic kidney disease

Bone. 2024 Aug:185:117126. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2024.117126. Epub 2024 May 20.


Chronic kidney disease-induced secondary hyperparathyroidism (CKD-SHPT) heightens fracture risk through impaired mineral homeostasis and elevated levels of uremic toxins (UTs), which in turn enhance bone remodeling. Etelcalcetide (Etel), a calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR) agonist, suppresses parathyroid hormone (PTH) in hyperparathyroidism to reduce excessive bone resorption, leading to increased bone mass. However, Etel's effect on bone quality, chemical composition, and strength is not well understood. To address these gaps, we established a CKD-SHPT rat model and administered Etel at a human-equivalent dose concurrently with disease induction. The effects on bone and mineral homeostasis were compared with a CKD-SHPT (vehicle-treated group) and a control group (rats without SHPT). Compared with vehicle-treated CKD-SHPT rats, Etel treatment improved renal function, reduced circulating UT levels, improved mineral homeostasis parameters, decreased PTH levels, and prevented mineralization defects. The upregulation of mineralization-promoting genes by Etel in CKD-SHPT rats might explain its ability to prevent mineralization defects. Etel preserved both trabecular and cortical bones with attendant suppression of osteoclast function, besides increasing mineralization. Etel maintained the number of viable osteocytes to the control level, which could also contribute to its beneficial effects on bone. CKD-SHPT rats displayed increased carbonate substitution of matrix and mineral, decreased crystallinity, mineral-to-matrix ratio, and collagen maturity, and these changes were mitigated by Etel. Further, Etel treatment prevented CKD-SHPT-induced deterioration in bone strength and mechanical behavior. Based on these findings, we conclude that in CKD-SHPT rats, Etel has multiscale beneficial effects on bone that involve remodeling suppression, mineralization gene upregulation, and preservation of osteocytes.

Keywords: Bone-quality; Etelcalcetide; Histomorphometry; Mechanical strength; Secondary hyperparathyroidism; micro-computed tomography.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Density / drug effects
  • Bone and Bones* / drug effects
  • Bone and Bones* / metabolism
  • Bone and Bones* / pathology
  • Calcification, Physiologic / drug effects
  • Calcimimetic Agents* / pharmacology
  • Calcimimetic Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Hyperparathyroidism, Secondary* / drug therapy
  • Hyperparathyroidism, Secondary* / pathology
  • Male
  • Parathyroid Hormone / pharmacology
  • Peptides* / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic* / complications
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic* / drug therapy
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic* / metabolism
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic* / pathology


  • etelcalcetide hydrochloride
  • Peptides
  • Calcimimetic Agents
  • Parathyroid Hormone