Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 12-4-2019

Faculty Advisor(s)

Frank Frisch


Post-menopausal osteoporosis as a consequence of estrogen depletion is a growing concern for women in the United States. As more women take on executive positions and experience sleep deprivation, there is the potential for up regulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor alpha. It follows that the homeostatic imbalance of osteoclastic and osteoblastic activity leads to a greater risk of disease. Bisphosphonates generally, and Zolendronate specifically works by decreasing the number of osteoclasts. This current study investigated the impact of Zolendronate on the concentrations of tumor necrosis factor alpha-type (TNFɑ) in 32 ovariectomized Wistar rats. Throughout a five week period of sleep deprivation cycles, the concentrations of TNFɑ were collected and examined. It was originally hypothesized that the sleep deprived group of rats would have the highest concentration of TNFɑ due to the biological stress associated with insomnia. However, TNFɑ levels were significantly higher in the Zolendronate group than both the control and sleep deprived groups, as well as the sleep deprived with Zolendronate groups (p<0.01). We ascribe this to bisphosphonate induced transient fever seen in Zolendronate usage in previous studies (Zicuonzo, 2003). It is also suspected that the low concentrations of TNFɑ in the sleep deprived groups are seen due to the short time frame of this experiment along with a challenged immune system in the animals. With a longer period of sleep deprivation, it is possible that the hypothesized cytokine levels would be reached.


Presented at the Fall 2019 Student Scholar Symposium at Chapman University.