Anti-bone resorptive drugs such as bisphosphonates, the anti-RANKL antibody (denosu-mab), or selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) have been developed to treat osteoporosis. Mechanisms underlying activity of bisphosphonates or denosumab in this context are understood, while it is less clear how SERMs like tamoxifen, raloxifene, or bazedoxifene inhibit bone resorption. Recently, accumulation of hypoxia inducible factor 1 alpha (Hif1α) in osteoclasts was shown to be suppressed by estrogen in normal cells. In addition, osteoclast activation and decreased bone mass seen in estrogen-deficient conditions was found to require Hif1α. Here, we used western blot analysis of cultured osteoclast precursor cells to show that tamoxifen, raloxifene, or bazedoxifene all suppress Hif1 α protein accumulation. The effects of each SERM on osteoclast differentiation differed in vitro. Our results suggest that interventions such as the SERMs evaluated here could be useful to inhibit Hif1α and osteoclast activity under estrogen-deficient conditions.
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