Bisphosphonates and tetracycline: Experimental models for their evaluation in calcium-related disorders

Hagit Cohen, Vered Solomon, Ivan S. Alferiev, Eli Breuer, Asher Ornoy, Natan Patlas, Naomi Eidelman, Gerhard Hägele, Gershon Golomb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Purpose. This work was aimed at synthesizing novel bisphosphonates (BPs) and examining them in comparison to clinically used BPs such as pamidronate and alendronate, and to tetracycline, in order to evaluate their potential as anticalcification and antiresorption agents. The correlation between the various models was examined in order to establish facile experimental models for pre-screening of potential compounds. Methods. Nitrogen-containing heterocyclic, novel BPs such as 2-(3-methylimidazolio) ethylidene-1,1-bisphosphonic acid betaine (VS-5b), 2-(2-dimethylamino-4-pyrazinio)ethylidene-1,1-bisphosphonic acid betaine (VS-6b), and 2-(2-α-pyridylethylthio) ethylidene-1,1-bisphosphonic acid (ISA-225), were synthesized and evaluated in comparison to clinically used BPs, in various experimental models of resorption and calcification. Results. The physicochemical properties of the novel compounds are slightly different than the BPs in clinical use: the pKa values are lower, the affinity for hydroxyapatite is lower and the solubilities of the calcium salts are higher. The anticalcification potencies of the novel compounds were high and ranked as follows: alendronate = pamidronate > VS-6b = VS-5b = ISA-225 > tetracycline. The in vivo antiresorption, activity of VS-5b and VS-6b in comparison to that of the clinically employed, pamidronate, was shown to be similar and higher, respectively. Conclusions. The anticalcification activity of the novel compounds as well as that of tetracycline was lower than that of alendronate. The antiresorption activity of VS-6b was similar to that of pamidronate. A good correlation between the different models was found, enabling the facile screening of novel compounds. The activities of tetracycline and EDTA highlight the distinct behavior of BPs as 'crystal poison'. In addition, tetracycline was found to be a potent anticalcification agent in the ectopic calcification model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)606-613
Number of pages8
JournalPharmaceutical Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Bisphosphonates
  • Bone resorption
  • Calcification
  • Hydroxyapatite
  • Synthesis
  • Tetracycline


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