[Purpose] Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) administration reportedly recovers osteoporosis, a bone disorder associated with bone deficiency in postmenopausal women. However, the physiological mechanism of DHEA in osteoporosis remains elusive, especially in terms of intestinal calcium absorption. Therefore, we investigated the effect of DHEA administration on calcium absorption in ovariectomized (OVX) female rats using an estrogen receptor antagonist. [Methods] Female Sprague-Dawley rats (n=23, 6 weeks old) were randomized into three groups: OVX control group (OC, n=7), OVX with DHEA treatment group (OD, n=8), and OVX with DHEA inhibitor group (ODI, n=8) for 8 weeks. [Results] Intestinal calcium accumulation, as well as the rate of absorption, demonstrated no significant differences during the experimental period among investigated groups. The bone mineral density (BMD) of the tibia at the proximal metaphysis was higher in the OD group than that in the OC group (p<0.05); however, BMD of the ODI group showed no significant difference from investigated groups. Furthermore, the BMD of the tibia at the diaphysis did not significantly differ among these groups. [Conclusion] We revealed that DHEA administration does not involve intestinal Ca absorption, although this treatment improves BMD levels in OVX rats. These observations indicate that the effect of DHEA on the bone in postmenopausal women is solely due to its influence on bone metabolism and not intestinal calcium absorption.
- Calcium absorption
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Health(social science)
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
- Nutrition and Dietetics