Hypophosphatemic Hypovitaminosis D Induces Osteomalacia in the Adult Female Rat

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Osteomalacia is a bone-demineralizing disease of adulthood, often caused by hypovitaminosis D. Current animal models of the disease mimic osteomalacia as a consequence of gastric bypass or toxic exposure to metals, but a relevant model of diet-induced osteomalacia is lacking. For that purpose, 7-month-old female Sprague Dawley rats were randomly assigned into 2 weight-stratified groups and maintained for 4 months on synthetic diets containing negligible or normal levels of vitamin D. The dietary regimen resulted in vitamin D deficiency as measured by 25-hydroxyvitamin D serum levels; however, hypovitaminosis D per se did not affect biomarkers of calcium metabolism and bone turnover, nor did it result in increased osteoid. Thus, vitamin D depletion through the diet was found to be insufficient to induce an osteomalacia-like phenotype in the adult rat. After 4 months, the phosphate content of the vitamin D-depleted diet had decreased to 0.16% (calcium:phosphorus ratio of 5.85), resulting in an osteomalacic-like condition (trabecular osteoid surface/bone surface constituted 33%; CI, 26-40). The diet change also affected both metabolic and bone turnover biomarkers, including significantly suppressing serum fibroblast growth factor 23. Furthermore, decreased dietary phosphate in a vitamin D-depleted diet led to microarchitectural changes of trabecular and cortical bone, lower bone mass density, lower bone mass content and decreased bone strength, all indicating reduced bone quality. Taken together, our results show that osteomalacia can be induced in the adult female rat by depleting vitamin D and lowering phosphate content in the diet.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberbqaa100
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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