Ethanol inhibits human bone cell proliferation and function in vitro

Karen E. Friday, Guy A. Howard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


The direct effects of ethanol on human bone cell proliferation and function were studied in vitro. Normal human osteoblasts from trabecular bone chips were prepared by collagenase digestion. Exposure of these osteoblasts to ethanol in concentrations of 0.05% to 1% for 22 hours induced a dose-dependent reduction in bone cell DNA synthesis as assessed by incorporation of 3H-thymidine. After 72 hours of ethanol exposure in concentrations of 0.01% to 1%, protein synthesis as measured by 3H-proline incorporation into trichbroacetic acid (TCA)-precipitable material was reduced in a dose-dependent manner. Human bone cell protein concentrations and alkaline phosphatase total activity were significantly reduced after exposure to 1% ethanol for 72 hours, but not with lower concentrations of ethanol. This reduction in osteoblast proliferation and activity may partially explain the development of osteopenia in humans consuming excessive amounts of ethanol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)562-565
Number of pages4
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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