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Bone., 1997; 20(5): 465-71, PMID: 9145244

Effects of an inhibitor of cathepsin L on bone resorption in thyroparathyroidectomized and ovariectomized rats

Jahr: 1997

Millest AJ, Breen SA, Loveday BE, Clarkson PN, Simpson CA, Waterton JC, Johnstone D
Cardiovascular and Musculoskeletal Research Department, ZENECA Pharmaceuticals, Macclesfield, Cheshire, UK.


The process of bone resorption by osteoclasts involves the dissolution of mineral salts and enzymatic degradation of the mainly collagenous extracellular matrix. Cysteine proteinases, which can efficiently degrade collagen at acidic pH, have been suggested to play an important role in the bone resorptive process. The cysteine proteinase cathepsin L is secreted by osteoclasts, and inhibitors of this enzyme can prevent bone resorption in vitro. The activity of acetyl-leu-leu-norleucinol (ALLN), a selective inhibitor of cathepsin L, was investigated in two models of bone resorption in vivo. In the first study, the ability of ALLN to inhibit bone resorption was investigated in Ro-13-6298 (arotinoid)-treated thyroparathyroidectomized (TPTX) rats. ALLN [100 mg/kg, intraperitoneally (i.p.)] inhibited hypercalcemia by 62.8% acutely (p < 0.001), compared to 94.9% (p < 0.001) inhibition by salmon calcitonin (sCT) (10 IU/kg, subcutaneously). In rats treated for 3 days with ALLN, arotinoid-induced reduction in cortical bone mineral density measured by peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) was inhibited by 86.4% (p < 0.05) in rats treated with ALLN 100 mg/kg, i.p., and by 82% in rats treated with 50 mg/kg, i.p. (p < 0.05). In a second study, the efficacy of ALLN was tested in a longitudinal study in ovariectomized (ovx) rats. Bone loss, measured by pQCT, was unaffected by treatment with ALLN. The bisphosphonate alendronate, however, inhibited bone loss in this model. These data demonstrate the ability of a cathepsin L inhibitor to inhibit bone resorption in arotinoid-treated TPTX rats, a process which may be dependent on the activity of cathepsin L-like cysteine proteinases. In contrast to its effects in TPTX rats, ALLN had no inhibitory activity on bone resorption in ovx rats. It is possible that in chronic bone resorption in ovx rats, the activity of other enzymes such as cathepsins OC-2 or K allows the process of resorption to continue even when cathepsin L is inhibited by ALLN. Further studies are required to determine why the activity of ALLN varies between different animal models. These data indicate that there may be variations in the effects of drugs in different animal models of bone resorption which should be considered when investigating novel antiresorptive therapies.

GID: 426; Letzte Änderung: 05.12.2007