Cathepsin K inhibitors prevent bone loss in estrogen-deficient rabbits


Brenda L Pennypacker, Le T Duong, Tara E Cusick, Patricia J Masarachia, Michael A Gentile, Jacques-Yves Gauthier, W Cameron Black, Boyd B Scott, Rana Samadfam, Susan Y Smith, Donald B Kimmel


Two cathepsin K inhibitors (CatKIs) were compared with alendronate (ALN) for their effects on bone resorption and formation in ovariectomized (OVX) rabbits. The OVX model was validated by demonstrating significant loss (9.8% to 12.8%) in lumbar vertebral bone mineral density (LV BMD) in rabbits at 13-weeks after surgery, which was prevented by estrogen or ALN. A potent CatKI, L-006235 (L-235), dosed at 10 mg/kg per day for 27 weeks, significantly decreased LV BMD loss (p < .01) versus OVX-vehicle control. ALN reduced spine cancellous mineralizing surface by 70%, whereas L-235 had no effect. Similarly, endocortical bone-formation rate and the number of double-labeled Haversian canals in the femoral diaphysis were not affected by L-235. To confirm the sparing effects of CatKI on bone formation, odanacatib (ODN) was dosed in food to achieve steady-state exposures of 4 or 9 µM/day in OVX rabbits for 27 weeks. ODN at both doses prevented LV BMD loss (p < .05 and p < .001, respectively) versus OVX-vehicle control to levels comparable with sham or ALN. ODN also dose-dependently increased BMD at the proximal femur, femoral neck, and trochanter. Similar to L-235, ODN did not reduce bone formation at any bone sites studied. The positive and highly correlative relationship of peak load to bone mineral content in the central femur and spine suggested that ODN treatment preserved normal biomechanical properties of relevant skeletal sites. Although CatKIs had similar efficacy to ALN in preventing bone loss in adult OVX rabbits, this novel class of antiresorptives differs from ALN by sparing bone formation, potentially via uncoupling bone formation from resorption.

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