• arthritic pain;
  • bisphosphonates;
  • functional outcomes;
  • late treatment


Preclinical Research

This study was performed to evaluate whether early, middle, or late treatment of zoledronate, an approved bisphosphonate that blocks bone resorption, can reduce nociceptive behaviors in a mouse arthritis model. Arthritis was produced by repeated intra-articular knee injections of complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA). A dose-response curve with zoledronate (3, 30, 100, and 300 μg/kg, i.p., day 4 to day 25, twice weekly for 3 weeks) was performed, and the most effective dose of zoledronate (100 μg/kg, i.p.) was initially administered at different times of disease progression: day 4 (early), day 15 (middle), or day 21 (late) and continued until day 25 after the first CFA injection. Flinching of the injected extremity (spontaneous nociceptive behavior), vertical rearings and horizontal activity (functional outcomes), and knee edema were assessed. Zoledronate improved both functional outcomes and reduced flinching behavior. At day 25, the effect of zoledronate on flinching behavior and vertical rearings was greater in magnitude when it was given early or middle rather than late in the treatment regimen. Chronic zoledronate did not reduce knee edema in CFA-injected mice nor functional outcomes in naïve mice by itself. These results suggest that zoledronate may have a positive effect on arthritis-induced nociception and functional disabilities.