Rodent models of osteoporosis

Antonia Sophocleous and Aymen I Idris

The aim of this protocol is to provide a detailed description of male and female rodent models of osteoporosis. In addition to indications on the methods of performing the surgical procedures, the choice of reliable and safe anaesthetics is also described. Post-operative care, including analgesia administration for pain management, is also discussed. Ovariectomy in rodents is a procedure where ovaries are surgically excised. Hormonal changes resulting from ovary removal lead to an oestrogen-deprived state, which enhances bone remodelling, causes bone loss and increases bone fracture risk. Therefore, ovariectomy has been considered as the most common preclinical model for understanding the pathophysiology of menopause-associated events and for developing new treatment strategies for tackling postmenopausal osteoporosis. This protocol also provides a detailed description of orchidectomy, a model for androgendeficient osteoporosis in rodents. Endocrine changes following testes removal lead to hypogonadism, which results in accelerated bone loss, increasing osteoporosis risk. Orchidectomised rodent models have been proposed to mimic male osteoporosis and therefore remain a valuable tool for understanding androgen deficiency in aged men. Although it would have been particularly difficult to assemble an internationally acceptable description of surgical procedures, here we have attempted to provide a comprehensive guide for best practice in performing ovariectomy and orchidectomy in laboratory rodents. Research scientists are reminded that they should follow theirown institution’s interpretation of such guidelines. Ultimately, however, all animal procedures must be overseen by the local Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body and conducted under licences approved by a regulatory ethics committee.

Antonia Sophocleous
Aymen Idris