Calcified tissue international 2017 05 20() doi 10.1007/s00223-017-0290-3
Antiretroviral (ARV) treatment may induce metabolic complications in HIV patients on long-term therapy that can affect bone health. In this study, the effects of the ARVs Stavudine (d4T), Tenofovir (TDF) and Lopinavir/ritonavir (LPV/r) on bone metabolism and lipodystrophy were directly compared in rats to negate the consequences of HIV-associated confounding factors. Healthy 12-14-week-old male Wistar rats (n = 40) were divided into four treatment groups and received an oral animal equivalent dose of either Stavudine (6.2 mg/kg/day), TDF (26.6 mg/kg/day), LPV/r (70.8 mg/kg/day) or water (Control 1.5 mL water/day) for a period of 9 weeks. Whole-body DXA measurements, a biomechanical three-point breaking test and histomorphometric analysis were performed on the femurs and tibias at the end of the treatment period. Stavudine monotherapy was found to be associated with decreased femoral bone mineral density that translated into reduced bone strength, whereas histomorphometric analysis demonstrated that Stavudine induces an imbalance in bone metabolism at tissue level, evident in higher resorption (eroded surfaces, osteoclast surfaces and osteoclast number) and lower formation parameters (osteoblast surfaces and osteoid surfaces). This was less clear in the rats treated with either TDF or LPV/r. Furthermore, both Stavudine and TDF treatment resulted in significant bone marrow adiposity, although no significant redistribution of body fat was noted in the treated rats compared to controls. The data from this study suggest that in the absence of HIV-associated factors, LPV/r is less detrimental to bone metabolism compared to Stavudine and TDF.