Inflammatory Effects of Nitrogen-Containing Bisphosphonates (N-BPs): Modulation by Non-N-BPs

Kazuhiro Shima, Masahiro Tsuchiy, Takefumi Oizumi, Teruko Takano-Yamamoto, Shunji Sugawara, Yasuo Endo

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14 Citations (Scopus)


Bisphosphonates (BPs) are used against diseases with enhanced bone resorption. Those classed as nitrogen- containing BPs (N-BPs) exhibit much stronger anti-bone-resorptive effects than non-nitrogen-containing BPs (non-N-BPs). However, N-BPs carry the risk of inflammatory/necrotic side effects. Depending on their side-chains, BPs are divided structurally into cyclic and non-cyclic types. We previously found in mice that etidronate and clodronate (both non-cyclic non-N-BPs) could reduce the inflammatory effects of all three N-BPs tested (cyclic and non-cyclic types), possibly by inhibiting their entry into soft-tissue cells via SLC20 and/or SLC34 phosphate transporters. Tiludronate is the only available cyclic non-N-BP, but its effects on N-BPs' side effects have not been examined. Here, we compared the effects of etidronate, clodronate, and tiludronate on the inflammatory effects of six N-BPs used in Japan [three cyclic (risedronate, zoledronate, minodronate) and three non-cyclic (pamidronate, alendronate, ibandronate)]. Inflammatory effects were evaluated in mice by measuring the hind-paw-pad swelling induced by subcutaneous injection of an N-BP (either alone or mixed with a non-N-BP) into the hind-paw-pad. All of six N-BPs tested induced inflammation. Etidronate, clodronate, and the SLC20/34 inhibitor phosphonoformate inhibited this inflammation. Tiludronate inhibited the inflammatory effects of all N-BPs except ibandronate and minodronate, which have higher molecular weights than the other N-BPs. The mRNAs of SLC20a1, SLC20a2, and SLC34a2 (but not of SLC34a1 and SLC34a3) were detected in the soft-tissues of hind-paw-pads. These results suggest that etidronate, clodronate, and phosphonoformate may act non-selectively on phosphate transporter members, while tiludronate may not act on those transporting N-BPs of higher molecular weights.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-33
Number of pages9
JournalBiological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Bisphosphonate
  • Inflammation
  • Phosphate transporter
  • Phosphonoformate
  • Side effect
  • Tiludronate


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