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Biomed Pharmacother, 2017; 94(): 124-128, PMID: 28759749

Effects of long-term oral administration of methimazole on femur and tibia properties in male Wistar rats.

Year: 2017

Tatara MR, Golynski M, Radzki RP, Bienko M, Krupski W
Department of Animal Physiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, ul. Akademicka 12, 20-950 Lublin, Poland. Electronic address:


Physiological concentrations of thyroid hormones are crucial for skeletal growth and development, physiological bone turnover and bone homeostasis maintenance. Methimazole (1-methyl-2-mercaptoimidazole) is an antithyroid drug used for the treatment of the hyperthyroidism in humans and animals. The aim of the study was to determine effects of long-term oral methimazole treatment in male Wistar rats on biochemical bone metabolism markers, as well as morphological, geometric, densitometric and mechanical properties of femur and tibia. Experimental rats were subjected to 90-day-long oral treatment with 0.05% water solution of methimazole and were kept under identical environmental conditions and received the same diet ad libitum as the control group. Serum concentration of osteocalcin (OC) and C-terminal telopeptides of type I collagen (CTX-I) was determined. Femur and tibia were evaluated using quantitative computed tomography (QCT), peripheral QCT (pQCT) and three-point bending test. Final body weight of the experimental group was significantly decreased by 30% (P=0.01). Methimazole treatment significantly decreased serum OC concentration by 21% (P=0.02) and increased CTX-I concentration by 17% (P=0.06). Methimazole decreased morphological, geometric and densitometric parameters of femur and tibia in rats. Mechanical evaluation of bones has shown significantly decreased maximum elastic strength and ultimate strength of femur in rats treated with methimazole by 36% and 40% when compared to the control group (P<0.05). In conclusion, this study has shown that long-term treatment with methimazole inhibits bone formation and accelerates bone resorption processes. The observed negative effects of methimazole treatment on body weight gain and skeletal properties may be considered as additional possible side effects in living organisms to those reported in the previous studies. It may be suggested that long-term antithyroid treatment should be combined with prevention of the negative effects of methimazole on bone tissue and whole body metabolism.

GID: 4501; Last update: 01.09.2017