Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date


Faculty Advisor(s)

Frank Frisch, Milton Greenberg, Eric Sternlict, Kenneth Sumida


Post-menopausal osteoporosis is a common syndrome in the United States. The cessation of estrogen signaling coupled with the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines from sleep deprivation leads to an even greater risk of post-menopausal osteoporosis by creating an imbalance between osteoblasts and osteoclasts. With estrogen no longer present to regulate the concentration of osteoclasts and pro-inflammatory cytokines increasing production of osteoclasts, bone is degraded at a faster rate than it is formed. One of the most common treatments for osteoporosis is Zolendronate (a nitrogenous bisphosphonate), which decreases the number of osteoclasts in bone. This preliminary study looked at the effects on the concentration of tumor necrosis factor alpha-type (TNFα), a pro-inflammatory cytokine, and bone strength due to Zolendronate and sleep deprivation in thirty-two ovariectomized Wistar rats. After a five-week sleep deprivation protocol, TNFα concentrations were determined by enzyme-linked immunoassay and bone strengths were determined by a three point bending test. There were no significant differences in bone strength, and the only significant difference in serum concentrations of TNFα (P<.01) was with the group that received Zolendronate. While we expected that the sleep deprived and sleep deprived with Zolendronate groups would have significantly higher TNFα concentrations we purpose an over-exhausted immune system is responsible our low concentrations. The reason the Zolendronate group had a significantly higher TNFα level could have been due to a transient fever caused by the drug. Further research measuring the changes in cytokine concentration throughout a longer sleep deprivation protocol needs to be done.


Presented at the Fall 2014 Undergraduate Student Research Day at Chapman University.