Purpose: Nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates (NBPs) have powerful anti-bone-resorptive effects (ABREs). However, recent clinical applications have disclosed an unexpected side effect, osteonecrosis of the jaw. We previously found in mice that etidronate (a non-NBP), when coadministered with alendronate (an NBP), inhibited the latter's inflammatory effects. However, etidronate also reduced the ABRE of alendronate. The present study examined in mice the modulating effects of etidronate on the inflammatory and necrotic actions of zoledronate (the NBP with the strongest anti-bone-resorptive activity and the highest incidence of osteonecrosis of the jaw) and on ABREs of various NBPs including zoledronate. Materials and Methods: NBPs were subcutaneously injected into ear pinnas of mice and ensuing inflammation and necrosis at the site of the injection were evaluated. ABREs of NBPs were evaluated by analyzing sclerotic bands induced in mouse tibias. Results: Coinjection of etidronate reduced inflammatory and necrotic reactions induced by zoledronate, and also reduced the amount of zoledronate retained within the ear tissue. When both agents were intraperitoneally injected, etidronate reduced the ABRE of zoledronate and those of other NBPs. Notably, etidronate reduced the ABRE of zoledronate even when this non-NBP was injected 16 hours after the injection of zoledronate. Bone scintigram indicated that etidronate reduced the amount of zoledronate that had already bound to bone. Conclusions: These results suggest that etidronate may 1) inhibit the entry of NBPs into cells related to inflammation and/or necrosis, 2) inhibit the binding of NBPs to bone hydroxyapatite, 3) at least partly eliminate (or substitute for) NBPs that have already accumulated within bones, and thus 4) if used as a substitution drug for NBPs, be effective at treating or preventing NBP-associated osteonecrosis of the jaw.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Oral Surgery