In normal physiological or in certain pathological conditions, free radicals may affect bone remodeling by regulating bone resorption by osteoclasts. Studies have shown the association of oxidative stress with osteoporosis. In this study, a rat model of oxidative stress was induced by intraperitoneal injection of ferric nitrilotriacetate (FeNTA) 2 mg/kg for 8 weeks, which generates oxygen reactive species via the Fenton reaction. The effects of oxidative stress on rat trabecular bone were assessed by bone histomorphometry. FeNTA was shown to reduce trabecular volume and thickness. These structural changes were associated with excessive bone resorption as indicated by the high eroded surface and osteoclast number. Mineralisation defect as reflected by increased osteoid volume and surface was attributed to the low osteoblast number. These free-radical induced bone changes, may be suppressed by antioxidants. The findings in this study suggests that, based on the bone histomorphometric indices, palm tocotrienol mixture was better than pure α-tocopherol acetate. These findings indicate that free radicals may be responsible for the bone changes that lead to osteoporosis and osteomalacia. Palm tocotrienols or other potent antioxidants may play a role in preventing or suppressing these pathological changes.
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