Physiol. Res. 52: 729-734, 2003

The Influence of Nitric Oxide Synthase Inhibitor L-NAME on Bones of Male Rats with Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetes


Third Medical Department, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University and 1Institute of Endocrinology, Prague, Czech Republic

Received August 21, 2002
Accepted November 25, 2002

The pathophysiological processes underlying the development of diabetic osteopenia has not hitherto been elucidated. Induction of streptozotocin diabetes leads in our experiments to decrease of bone density, ash, mineral content and to thinner cortical width compared to control male rats. In order to investigate the pathogenetic role of bone resorption by osteoclasts in streptozotocin-induced diabetes, we determined the circulating levels of tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP), a biochemical marker for bone resorption. Plasma TRAP values in diabetic rats did not differ from their corresponding controls. Streptozotocin diabetes by itself did not have any effect on the weight of seminal vesicles which are highly testosterone-dependent. Low doses of nitric oxide cause bone resorption, but higher doses of NO inhibit bone resorbing activity. We examined the effect of L-NAME (inhibitor of nitric oxide production) after six weeks of administration to diabetic rats. There was no further significant loss of bone mineral density, ash and mineral content or tibia weight in diabetic rats treated with L-NAME. L-NAME itself did not decrease bone metabolism. In our study no evidence of an increased bone resorption was found. Our results have indicated that a predominance of bone resorption over bone formation is not involved in the pathogenesis of diabetes-associated osteopenia. Inhibition of NO neither increased osteoclastic activity (TRAP) nor induced osteopenia in L-NAME-treated rats. This suggests a possibility that NO is not involved in the pathogenesis of diabetic osteopenia.

Key words
Streptozotocin diabetes • Osteopenia • L-NAME • TRAP • Osteoclasts

© 2002 by the Institute of Physiology, Czech Academy of Sciences