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Bisphosphonates (BPs) are a mainstay of osteoporosis treatment; however, concerns about bone health based on oversuppression of remodeling remain. Long-term bone remodeling suppression adversely affects bone material properties with microdamage accumulation and reduced fracture toughness in animals and increases in matrix mineralization and atypical femur fractures in patients. Although a “drug holiday” from BPs to restore remodeling and improve bone quality seems reasonable, clinical BPs have long functional half-lives because of their high hydroxyapatite (HAP) binding affinities. This places a practical limit on the reversibility and effectiveness of a drug holiday. BPs with low HAP affinity and strong osteoclast inhibition potentially offer an alternative approach; their antiresorptive effect should reverse rapidly when dosing is discontinued. This study tested this concept using NE-58025, a BP with low HAP affinity and moderate osteoclast inhibition potential. Young adult female C57Bl/6 mice were ovariectomized (OVX) and treated with NE-58025, risedronate, or PBS vehicle for 3 months to test effectiveness in preventing long-term bone loss. Bone microarchitecture, histomorphometry, and whole-bone mechanical properties were assessed. To test reversibility, OVX mice were similarly treated for 3 months, treatment was stopped, and bone was assessed up to 3 months post-treatment. NE-58025 and RIS inhibited long-term OVX-induced bone loss, but NE-58025 antiresorptive effects were more pronounced. Withdrawing NE-58025 treatment led to the rapid onset of trabecular resorption with a 200% increase in osteoclast surface and bone loss within 1 month. Cessation of risedronate treatment did not lead to increases in resorption indices or bone loss. These results show that NE-58025 prevents OVX-induced bone loss, and its effects reverse quickly following cessation treatment in vivo. Low-HAP affinity BPs may have use as reversible, antiresorptive agents with a rapid on/off profile, which may be useful for maintaining bone health with long-term BP treatment.


This work was originally published in JBMR Plus, available at

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