Patients receiving androgen deprivation therapy experience secondary hypogonadism, associated bone loss, and increased fracture risk. It has been shown that tocotrienol from Bixa orellana (annatto) prevents skeletal microstructural changes in rats experiencing primary hypogonadism. However, its potential in preventing bone loss due to androgen deprivation therapy has not been tested. This study aimed to evaluate the skeletal protective effects of annatto tocotrienol using a buserelin-induced osteoporotic rat model.
Forty-six male Sprague Dawley rats aged 3 months were randomized into six groups. The baseline control (n=6) was sacrificed at the onset of the study. The normal control (n=8) received corn oil (the vehicle of tocotrienol) orally daily and normal saline (the vehicle of buserelin) subcutaneously daily. The buserelin control (n=8) received corn oil orally daily and subcutaneous buserelin injection (75 µg/kg) daily. The calcium control (n=8) was supplemented with 1% calcium in drinking water and daily subcutaneous buserelin injection (75 µg/kg). The remaining rats were given daily oral annatto tocotrienol at 60 mg/kg (n=8) or 100 mg/kg (n=8) plus daily subcutaneous buserelin injection (75 µg/kg) (n=8). At the end of the experiment, the rats were euthanized and their blood, tibia, and femur were harvested. Structural changes of the tibial trabecular and cortical bone were examined using X-ray micro-computed tomography. Femoral bone calcium content and biomechanical strength were also evaluated.
Annatto tocotrienol at 60 and 100 mg/kg significantly prevented the deterioration of trabecular bone and cortical thickness in buserelin-treated rats ( P<0.05). Both doses of annatto tocotrienol also improved femoral biomechanical strength and bone calcium content in buserelin-treated rats ( P<0.05). The effects of annatto tocotrienol were comparable to calcium supplementation.