Zinc decrease and bone metabolism in the femoral-metaphyseal tissues of rats with skeletal unloading
The effect of simulated weightlessness on bone metabolism was investigated in skeletal unloading for 4 days. Skeletal unloading was designed using the model of hindlimb hang in rats. Skeletal unloading with hindlimb hang cased a significant decrease of alkaline phosphatase activity, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) content, and glucose consumption in the femoral diaphysis, but not in the calvaria. When femoral-diaphyseal tissues were cultured in the presence of insulin (10(-8) M), the hormone produced a significant increase of alkaline phosphatase activity and decrease of glucose consumption in the femoral-diaphyseal tissues obtained from normal rats. This hormonal effect was not seen in the femoral diaphysis, but in the calvaria, of rats with skeletal unloading. However, insulin effect was seen in the femoral diaphysis obtained at 3 days after the removal of skeletal unloading. Meanwhile, the presence of other bone-regulating factors (10(-8) M parathyroid hormone [1-34] and 10(-4) M zinc sulfate) revealed an appreciable effect on alkaline phosphatase activity in the femoral diaphysis from rats with skeletal unloading. These results suggest that gravitational stimulation can directly enhance a specific insulin sensitivity in the regulation of bone metabolism.